Trinidad-born visual artist Indra Persad Milowe has produced a series of paintings inspired by T&T’s Independence Day. These depictions of her childhood memories of August 31 are part of her “Festivals and Folklore of Trinidad, West Indies.”
Now based in Salem, Massachusetts, in the United States, Persad Milowe said art brings to life her experiences of growing up in T&T in the 1950s and 1960s.
She said “Side by Side We Stand” was inspired by an experience when she was a ten-year-old student at Curepe Presbyterian School learning the words of the National Anthem.
“My favourite part was when we lined up outside our school. Our teacher pinned our flags on our blouses and we had to hold hands with each other. We then walked clockwise around the school. Every child had to recite one line of the national anthem. We then had to jump up in the air and when landing on our feet, shout loudly, “Side by side we stand!”
“Later we stopped and sang together while raising our hands back and forth, “Here every creed and race find an equal place, and may God bless our Nation.” In this painting, I have transposed the children of my youth to the Red House in Port-of-Spain. Each and every word of our National Anthem has stuck in my head to this very day,” she said.
The artist sits in front of 6ft x 6ft mural, a Kaleidoscope of the Imagination, painted on the entrance wall of her studio and gallery.
Persad Milowe said, “My Flag Guarded My Hopscotch” is her depiction of another Independence Day.
She recalled: “Our parents had a fenced-off garden where they grew vine vegetables. In the middle, we drew a hopscotch on concrete that was our daily exercise routine. We tied our flag onto that fence wire and left it there until we grew up. It had seen a lot of rain and thunder but we never took it down.”
Her other featured paintings are Kailash” an art box that was used as a backdrop for the television cooking series Man vs. Food. It is now on display in front of the Old Town Hall in Derby Square, Salem. The 6ft x 6ft mural “Kaleidoscope of the Imagination” is painted on the entrance wall of her studio and gallery.
The artist, who retired as an ophthalmic and psychiatric nurse in 2019, is now a full-time artist who prefers working on canvas with multi-coloured and gold acrylic paints.
More of her art can be viewed on her website: www.indrapersadmilowe.com.