Clayton de Freitas exhibits calming pieces

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President of the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, Clayton de Freitas, specialises in monochrome watercolours. Most of his work is in shades of brown, but for his current exhibition that opened at the Art Society Gallery on September 2, there are pieces in red as well as brown, Anne Hilton Friday reports in Trinidad’s Newsday.

Due to the gallery lighting I had some difficulty photographing the paintings, that are all framed in reflecting glass. Clayton offered to turn off the gallery lighting, but that would have activated the flash on my Olympus camera. Yes, I know, I should have brought along my Nikon camera that wouldn’t automatically flash in low light, as well as the Olympus that does. So I offered Clayton and Newsday readers this explanation for the traces of gallery lighting on some of the paintings I photographed and hope they will understand and overlook my mistake.

Now for the pieces themselves. “Whispering” is an apt title for the bamboos on the edge of a pool, or lake of water, and the mere suggestion of figures wading in the water at left. 

“The Thirsting” was one of the several red monochrome water colours on exhibit that I chose to photograph. It shows a group of people by a standpipe, filling pots and containers with water, while some figures, their jars and pots filled, are walking away carrying their water jars on their heads.

At first blush “Saturday” resembles Pigeon Point in Tobago, but the coastline is all wrong for that famous beach. In addition, on a Saturday in Tobago there would be crowds, rather than the lone four figures on the jetty and those in one of the boats. Nevertheless, this piece portrays exactly the mood, the ambience of calm in more remote spots, despite the ‘touristy’ feature of the covered pavilion or shelter at the end of the jetty. 

Calm is the keynote of most of the pieces in this exhibition, and “Restful” shows even the pirogue at rest, part way drawn up on the shore, and two or three lone figures on the beach “The People of the Seine” is self-explanatory, with the seabirds hovering and swooping, awaiting the moment when the seine with its burden of fish is pulled out of the water.

The exhibition of these quiet, restful water colours ends today. I remind Newsday readers who may have missed the exhibition and might like to buy one or other of these works, that they can contact the artist by emailing cdefreitas@artsocietytt.org

For the original report go to http://www.newsday.co.tt/features/0,200043.html

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