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As part of her practice-based MPhil degree in cultural studies at the University of the West Indies, Candice Sobers will launch an exhibition of paintings and installations and a book titled The Aesthetics of the Mundane at the Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago, corner of Jamaica Boulevard and St Vincent Avenue, Federation Park, on September 17.
Sobers is a conceptual artist, with an emphasis on contemporary art practice. She holds a BA in visual arts with first-class honours. Her work has been displayed in joint exhibitions at the National Museum, Rainydays at Ellerslie Plaza, In2Art and at the Art Society.
She is currently conducting a research thesis on “Techniques of Resourcefulness and Survival Among Working-Class Trinidadians.”
This research is being formulated as a series including paintings, drawings and a handbook of mixed methods.
Professionally, Sobers is also a life-skills facilitator more than five years and internal verifier for the On the Job Training programme with the National Training Agency and a devout Rotarian with the Port-of-Spain arm.
Sobers said her research is a contemporary study which has provided a purposeful lens into the lived realities of working-class Trinidadians.
It is a primarily ethnographic, qualitative study which explores the workings of survival, invention and resourcefulness in the management of poverty, of a sample group of members from six extended families.
She said the research seeks to answer the question, “what invaluable procedural techniques have been constructed by the working-class Trinidadian in the management of poverty?”
Explaining her work outcome and rationale behind the exhibition and book, Sobers said the families’ experiences were recorded for “feeling and entry.”
She said: “According to sensitivity to their lived experiences, a record of the mystery of their contention was recreated not as an explanation but rather for feeling and entry. The ‘mundane’ referring to the day-to-day lives of the six participant families is a subjective term which cannot be presented homogeneously.”
The families’ survival mechanisms have resulted in “an aggressive conceptual, interpretative artistic body of work including a combination of paintings, drawings and craft (which) have embedded their descriptive perspectives of their banality of experiences.
“By means of ethnomethodology a handbook of 60 such resourceful techniques has been summarised and archived,” Sobers said.