Seya: In Sorrow

Submitted byJeeraik009 onFri, 08/20/2010 - 12:01


The Jamaican art community is saddened by the recent death of artist and poet Seya Parboosingh. She died at 85 having spent more than fifty years here. Born Samila Joseph in 1925 in Allentown Pennsylvania, Seya changed her name in 1957 when she married expressionist painter Karl Parboosingh in New York. They moved to Jamaica the next year and with Karl's encouragement, Seya began painting and exhibiting alongside him. Their styles were remarkably different. His paintings were strident with bold, brash brushmarks that critiqued the social conventions he abhored. Seya was more introspective, reserving her poetic forms for domesticated scenes with young women that like In Sorrow (1977) seemed to blend a childlike imagination with adult poignancy. In 2000, over a number of weekly visits, I had the privilege of talking at length with Seya while we prepared an article about her life and work for the magazine Caribbean Beat. I will miss her. Read the article.