A Fine Line

Submitted byJeeraik009 onFri, 10/14/2011 - 11:24


A respectful crowd turned out to hear master painter Barrington Watson's lecture at the National Gallery of Jamaica yesterday. At eighty, his presentation was not the most dynamic but the extensive slide-show of his works and his anecdotes were enough to keep the audience engaged. His tales of immigrant life in 1960s London at the Royal College and later studies in Europe, peppered with names such as Ruskin Spear and Norman Manley provided rare details about the artist's determination to become one of the region's finest painters. Most telling, was his description of how he stole skills from the great western masters to arrive at a way of painting that he considered uniquely Caribbean. His often quoted aspiration to utilize... “ ..the light of Turner, the line of Ingres, the range of Rembrandt, the techniques of Velasquez, the emotion of Goya...and, my birthright of Benin” vainly articulates how so many post-colonial period painters balanced on a fine line as they painted their personal histories and narratives. The talk served to whet the appetite of fans who can anticipate his retrospective of over 300 works scheduled for display at the NGJ in January 2012.