My trip to Tilting Axis started on the Monday before Friday’s conference start date. I took a detour and visited Trinidad & Tobago’s contemporary art space Alice Yard. Not having visited Trinidad for more than 15 years I was stunned by the new skyline and the contemporary developments of Port of Spain. It was a wonderful experience to be in the capital again and to remember how much we differ in culture and remember to appreciate this diversity.
On Tuesday Christopher Cozier invited me to stay at Alice Yard and gave me the opportunity to present Ateliers ’89’s work and our promotional short film. There I met Nadia Huggins and saw the work she is exhibiting at Alice Yard. I have known Nadia from the time she collaborated as a graphic designer with the ‘Caribbean Linked’ project in Aruba and it was great to meet up with her again. I loved the working style of Alice Yard and how they support emerging artists. I was very happy to have the opportunity to enjoy great conversations with Christopher Cozier for two days.
A day before the Tilting Axis conference, I arrived in Barbados. A big surprise awaited me when I visited Fresh Milk to meet everyone, to see, to take in the wonderful aromas and to be there was great. We were all so well received by our hostesses and participating guests. Being there reminded me of what the Spanish curator Paco Barragan stated at one of our first meetings during the development of ‘Caribbean Linked’, “We don't need to have a large space or luxury to accommodate an event like this but rather it is all about having the right people on board, supporting and attending your conference.”
I so enjoyed the very interesting participants, the presentations, the chats and all that happened in between, especially the dogs . . . At the same time I saw and understood that Ateliers ’89 is in the same boat as everybody else, that we all have to cope and deal with the similar problems, the need for that personal connection, workspace, finances, and how to come up with new solutions and of course to receive recognition for what we are doing.
In my enthusiasm I want things to move faster and wish we were already onto our next conference but as we all know, time, work and dedication is time consuming. After the meeting I am taking time to see, to listen, to feel, to understand all the great ideas and movements that are happening in the Caribbean. I believe we can look to the future with great delight and anticipation and we will push forward with hope and determination no matter what, in order to make it happen.
To Annalee, Holly and staff I thank you very much for your great hospitality. ‘Caribbean Linked’ started a great idea and hopefully that dream will continue through Tilting Axis with an International Artists Passport and of course . . . a SHIP.