Moon, Light and Shadow



Art Spaces

Art Spaces – Hayden Smith

Hayden Smith (5)

Trinidadian artist, Hayden Smith, his wife Anna and son Johnathan, are three people I have enjoyed getting to know in the short space of time I’ve been working at the Art Society of T&T. They are a warm, kind and good-natured family and it is my honour to feature Hayden in part three of my Art Spaces series.

NEALA: Looking at Synergie de Trois, what was your thought process behind the pieces selected for this exhibition?

HAYDEN: When I was presented with the opportunity to exhibit in Synergie de Trois, I wanted to also create pieces that would blend in with the genres of the other artists, Felder and R. Gerard Fulchan. This is what inspired the abstracts. It started out as setting out to combine 2D and 3D concepts but also include a more spiritual perspective, as all of the pieces came from within. I represented two different styles for this show: realism and abstract. I love nature and try to get close to it and bond as often as possible. You will see this reflected in my realism pieces. I try bringing that beauty to my audience, as often our lives are so hectic that we tend not to notice life’s natural treasures.

Hayden Smith (4)

NEALA: I am particularly drawn to the pieces created with wood elements, (like Unity). What inspired you to work with wood that way?

HAYDEN: I’ve always liked working with wood and seized the opportunity to develop a new technique to combine wood into my art, as a means of adding dimension to the pieces. Other materials used in some of the pieces are paper, metal and fibre.

Hayden Smith (3)

NEALA: You told me once that you are a mechanical engineer. What, do you think, is the relationship between your profession and your creative outlet?

HAYDEN: The average person would not associate engineering and art as these two areas are often seen to have opposite thought processes. One is structured and precise, the other, one of utter freedom of expression. I see the combination as the window to unlimited creativity.

NEALA: This your second exhibition. Tell me what you enjoyed the most about it?

HAYDEN: With this exhibition, I really enjoyed working on developing the new style. It was one of total fun and wonder as there was no restriction to form or boundaries while creating the pieces. Each one evolved during the actual individual creation. I, however, missed working with my son as in the last exhibition. (In 2015, Hayden exhibited with his son, Johnathan Smith in Elementary, A Father and Son Exhibition.)

What’s next for you?

The sky is the limit. I hope to continue to develop new techniques and working with my son again. Maybe turning some of the events and experiences of the recent past into creative expressions.


I wish Hayden the very best. On a personal note, this piece captured  me. There was movement to it. I loved the contrast between the dark, hard, angular wooden pieces and the fragile, bright pink, elliptical lines. I imagine that this is what the sound of wonder looks like. On many mornings during this exhibition I stood transfixed, hypnotised by the music of this piece.

Hayden Smith (2)

Close up showing detail of elements

Hayden’s facebook page.


Art Spaces – Felder

Felder Miniature Houses (2)

Langdon Tremayne Frauenfelder, self-taught Trinidadian artist, builds miniature replicas of early 20th Century houses. As a child he was intrigued by the creative expressions of older siblings, and one day, while watching his eldest brother build a replica of Skeletor’s Castle Grayskull, his imagination was set on fire, and he built his first house out of a Corn Flakes box. That was the beginning of his fascination with scale models and the inspiration that motivated him to create his own. Felder, as he is known as in the art community, is currently exhibiting eight miniature houses as a part of the Synergie de Trois exhibition at the ASTT Gallery.

Continue reading “Art Spaces – Felder”

Art Spaces – R. Gerard Fulchan

Dawning of the Eclipsing Soul - R. Gerard Fulchan
Dawning of the Eclipsing Soul – R. Gerard Fulchan Medium: Painted Carving (Acrylic paint on Trinidad Mahogany), 2016. Size: 65″×19.5″.

Gerard Fulchan is a Trinidadian artist and poet who is currently exhibiting at the ASTT Gallery. Fulchan works with both hand and power tools and prefers Trinidadian Teak and Mahogany over other hardwoods. The above piece is one of many I found particularly intriguing. Continue reading “Art Spaces – R. Gerard Fulchan”

Long Time Mas in T&T’s Carnival

For Carnival this year I had the opportunity to write about one of the historical tenets of T&T Carnival: Traditional Mas and Old Mas.

Photo by Stephen Broadbridge
Photo by Stephen Broadbridge

“Blue soap, grease and mud; herring-bone corsets, cosquelle bonnets and bustles; papier mache, bamboo, chip chip shells and rice-bags; colour-rich velvet, lace, satin and silk; warm waxy scent of face paint; chants and lyrics echoing with history; gestures and rhythmic dances flexed into muscle memory; lance and shield, crack of whips and breaths of fire. This is Mas. This is 230 year old Traditional Mas and it is living, breathing, evolving and still story-telling in our Carnival today.”    Read more: Maco People Magazine. Pg14. Continue reading “Long Time Mas in T&T’s Carnival”

The Lady At The Lighthouse

The Lady at The LighthousePhoto of me taken (and titled) by Kavita Ganness, one of my Cropper Sisters, on the last day of our Creative Workshop. We were at the Toco Lighthouse, squeezing in one more adventure before it was time to head back to “reality” and our old lives.

The Fire and Water Sprites

Guess who I found! 🙂

The Fire and Water Sprites
The Fire and Water Sprites

I finally found the talented artist whose work I fell in love with a few weeks ago. Her name is Ingrid Tan and she is from the Philippines. I googled “flame and water droplet” and there they were.

The are actually sprites and their story was first told for a college assignment back in 2009. Ms. Tan titled the piece Hold Close, and a graphic novel about these two loves was produced in 2012.

I checked out her website and the detail is exceptionally beautiful.

Cover from the Rain
Cover from the Rain

Love is balance, with a sense of humor. 🙂

Soul Mate


Continue reading “Soul Mate”


“Mascara, three shades of eye shadow, and lip tint to make whatever she said seem all the more important. She was so good at animating that painted face.”

Read the full story here:

So excited to have another one of my short stories published by The New Local and would love to know what you think of it. Thanks to Laura Ferreira for allowing us to feature her beautiful work.

Philosophy In Art

During my Introductory Painting class today we worked on our thumbnail sketches for our very first original compositions. Using what I’d learned about perspective, the rule of thirds, and leading the eye, I put pencil to paper to layout my seascape. By my third sketch I saw more or less what I had in my mind but something was just a little off. I studied all the details closely but couldn’t figure out what to do. As I studied my sketch, my teacher glanced at my work and suggested I move the two small rocks by a fraction of an inch. It worked! All the elements magically seemed more in harmony with each other. Delighted I remarked to my fellow tablemates that we were learning about Life in class today: Sometimes, instead of studying all the elements too closely, if we step back and change one seemingly small detail, everything else will fall into place.

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