For Martin Superville, the brainchild behind Expo ART Tobago 2018, the four-day showcasing of artists and artisans at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex (November 29-December 2) was “an overwhelming success.”
It’s the type of show he has dreamed about for years. He dreamt, hoped, planned and for years his dreams and hard work had not become a reality - until now.
“I have held talks with officials since the days of Mr Orville London. We have done detailed proposals and several times we were pretty close to having a show, but it just never happened,” Superville, an artist for 22 years, told Tobago Today.
“We had plans to use the old hospital to be the playing field for art as a tourists’ attraction, but it just never happened, not for a lack of approvals and efforts on the part of any official.”
He said he even pursued the idea of bringing the Cazabon Collection as part of a bigger show to Tobago “as recent as three months ago in an effort to expand the country’s economic portfolio through the creative industries, by providing an avenue where artists can have their work displayed and sold.”
Undeterred, he pursued his aspirations.
“Finally a show that I have planned for happened. I could not have done it without the help of a committee of artists and other professionals, all volunteers. We had a show which is the largest ever in this country which was multi-dimensional, multi-layered and showcased hundreds of pieces of art from artists and artisans.”
To prove his boast, he pointed to other art shows “just having one or two artists and maybe a group, but we had sculptors, painters, designers, jewellers, leather craftsmen and even nail technicians.”
He said the exposition also helped to pass on knowledge to young artists, as several schools across the island were invited to attend and “to engage their creativity” as they took part in performing arts’ workshops by Nalini Akal and the N9 dance group.
They were also exposed to different artistic techniques by artists featured at the event, including from the Women in Art Association of Trinidad and Tobago.
Superville’s dreams continue. He will not stop until he creates an artistic event which will become a fixture on Tobago’s tourism calendar, he said.
Until then he will continue showcasing his artwork in its permanent home - the Tobago Art Gallery in Lowlands.