Trinidadian painter Che Lovelace is the festival artist for the 17th edition of the trinidad+tobago film festival. Lovelace’s 2018 painting, “Head of a Girl” is the official work of ttff/22; his work will be featured on the ttff/22 poster, printed guide, buttons, and festival signage. The ttff team explains, “His vivid representations of the life, culture and landscape of Trinidad and Tobago demonstrate an intimate knowledge of–and passion for–our country which we share and celebrate every year during the trinidad+tobago film festival. In previous years, the festival has worked with visual artists Christopher Cozier, Eddie Bowen, Peter Doig, Sheena Rose, Mark King, Sabrina Charran, and Di-Andre Caprice Davis.”
Here are excerpts from an interview (“che lovelace on art and seeing ourselves”) with Che Lovelace by Mikayla Almandoz:
ttff: you’ve said before that your work “is generated from where you are. From the space which I inhabit, which is Trinidad – a physical place, a spiritual place, a mental place.” What have been some of the joys and challenges of channelling the spirit of Trinidad into your work?
Che Lovelace: I think to see a place you have to be curious. You can sometimes forget what a place means to you if you’re not aware or curious enough to discover it over and over again. Trinidad always seems to me so full of energy and possibilities with all kinds of nuances to respond to. So, when I encounter situations where these possibilities are being limited or not explored, it creates a situation in which one has to overcome the hindrances or the lack of this or that, by believing even more. The inhabitants of places like this, who are perceived as peripheral, and who are not without problems, have no choice but to embark on a journey of profound self belief. Overwhelmingly, Trinidad has been a place that has nourished my practice with a variety of themes and overlapping realities that I try to locate myself in through painting.
ttff: what was the inspiration behind your artwork, ‘Head of a Girl’, which is representing the festival this year?
CL: I am constantly fascinated and drawn to human beings, and of course as this is the place where I am and know, people here are always intriguing to me. I look at all the nuances of gestures and attitude of a person. Even at a glance so much is transmitted, so much is felt. With this painting, I wanted it to feel like you were just glancing at someone, but in that instant, the emotion, mood and quality of a gesture are immediately conveyed… just like a powerful glance happens in real life. Many of my figures seem to be in the process of revealing themselves, like three-quarter profiles or heads seen from the back and side. This invites some mystery, while the subject still retains their personhood and potential. Ultimately, maybe it asks the viewer to commit more to knowing this person. [. . .]
For full interview, see https://ttfilmfestival.com/news/ttff-news-and-features/che-lovelace-on-art-and-seeing-ourselves
[Shown above: Che Lovelace’s “Head of a Girl,” 2018.]
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