On June 27, 2009 I came back to Antigua with the intention of creating a book of mainly photography that would document the stories of the writers, painters, sculptors, potters, and other types of artists working in Antigua and Barbuda.I’m a writer and photographer born in New York and based in Toronto with links to Antigua from my Antiguan heritage and from having gone to school on the island for a time during my youth. Antigua has a number of artists of interest, both those who have been born on the island and those who have come to find their home here. This book attempts to capture something about the art of Antigua and Barbuda by looking at the captivating lives of these people who create it. Through photographs and using the written word, I’ll tell a little of the stories of those artists I profile … showing the reader an intimate glimpse into what drew them to their follow art and in particular what about Antigua, perhaps its flavour or its pace, has coloured their work. The finished book will be bound in soft cover format; about 100-120 pages long, about 10” x 12”, and will consist of 70-80 pages of photographs and 30-40 pages of text. I’ll devote about one half of a page to each artist, more or less depending on the dictates of their particular story. This will be a compelling showcase of Antiguan talent but more importantly will delve into some of the elements which draw their work together and make it unique as a whole.
I was drawn to write this book by the belief that there is something unique about Antigua that comes out in the writing, painting, sculpture, poetry, music, pottery, and other art that is inspired here. It draws artists who come from far away to adopt the island as their home. They come and mix their experiences with the life here, and it grows to be part of who they are. It also uniquely flavours the voices of its native born sons and daughters as well as their descendants, as they put their message to whatever visual or written medium they work in. Written for the art lover who perhaps might have a little bit of artist in their soul as well, this book attempts to escape being merely a summary of the artist’s accomplishments as you might find on a typical tourist brochure. Such writing defines the value of the artwork by what others have said. This book aims to be a creative work in its own right, and will present a perspective of the artist and their work as it relates to the artist’s own experiences.
Writing this book continues to be a fascinating journey of discovery for me that I look forward to sharing with you all. Links to related posts in this blog are provided below.