Through Shawn Peters’ colourful canvas, you’ll discover Caribbean cubism and abstract expressionism. His work is pregnant with meaning and doesn’t escape contextual richness. He is a self taught artist from Trinidad who was born of Trinidadian and Vincentian parentage. His work has been shown internationally throughout his twenty plus years as a professional artist. Throughout his life, he had been aware of a natural inclination to art, but he only deliberately attempted to answer this calling around 1995.
C – You truly have your own style. It’s like a mix of Caribbean, cubism, African and Mayan art. What inspires you? What is your main art inspiration?
S – My work seeks to tell an ever unfolding story of a young Sculptor, charged with the responsibility of finding form and identity for his formless people. Form in this context became the metaphor for self. The story is a visual tale of our society as it goes through its various stages of development, from the political and the religious to the racial and how they all impact upon us and help to shape identity.
” Anything I create, has reverberations or fragments of everyone else in the Caribbean. “
C – How the Caribbean culture influences your artworks?
S – The Caribbean is to me, such a vast space which opens up even further when one begins to consider the diversity in religious practices, individual island histories, political figures and influences, music and the amalgam of races etc.
All of which is reflected in the forms, rhythms, textures, colours, subjects and the multi-layered nature of my work. I can not adequately talk about our society and ideas of identity without acknowledging the parts of the total sum. We are all interconnected via these elements, and therefore, anything I create, has reverberations or fragments of everyone else in the Caribbean.
C – There are many quotations on your Instagram account. Do your canvas have hidden meanings?
S – Most of my canvases have things I hide in plain sight. The objective is to force the observer to really see and to contemplate on what you are seeing. There is also a philosophy which illuminates my work, which says, “The mind can always see infinitely further than the eye can” I want people to begin to see the work as merely a doorway to an even greater cognitive space.
The name “Pyes-nom” is derived from our local patios. It means nobody. It’s a title which often comes up in my work on account of my introverted nature and how I believe the average person in our country is viewed by “the powers that be.”
” The entire piece is a conversation and each medium lends its own distinctive voice to the dialogue. “
C – What are your main creative tools ? Oil, brush, acrylic, wood…
S – I think that my work is essentially about communication. The communication of an idea, occurrence, aspiration, fear. It’s always attempting to communicate something to the viewer, and the method or medium used largely dictates how effective that communication would be.
For example, there are some ideas which are best expressed in paint, some in wood and some may require a mixture of both with support from other materials such as metals or glass, or whatever is required to ensure the effectiveness of that communication. The entire piece is a conversation and each medium lends its own distinctive voice to the dialogue. It is for this reason, I never limit myself and remain open to working with whatever material the effectiveness of the conversation demands.
C – Can you explain to me your career path? What is your job currently? Do you have any projects coming?
S – I have been a full time artist for just over 12 years. I worked as a public servant with the government of Trinidad and Tobago prior to that until the call to art became too loud to ignore. At this point in my career and life, I really have no interest, time or desire to do anything besides art. I consider myself extremely fortunate given that I have no doubt that was chosen.
Art is not like other engagements. You can study her in depth for years and graduate with top honors and that still doesn’t guarantee you success. You can have the world of passion for her, and still, she may not return it. She has to choose you. I couldn’t ignore her calling.
C – Have you ever hold exhibitions? If yes, where, when? Are there any upcoming exhibitions?
S – For over 20 years I have been showing my work on a professional level. Every year around November or December, I usually have a major showing at home in Trinidad. I’m currently attached to Horizons Art Gallery in Trinidad and I am due to show again on the 13th of November. The Title of this show is called, “De Sculptor- In This Place.” I recently showed in Beijing at “Sharing the beauty- Latin American and Caribbean art show” for the 2018 China- Latin America and Art Season and prior to that I exhibited in Barbados for Carifesta.
The sery of painting and sculptures aim to touch us in our deepest being. Shawn Peters is a wonderful discover, with powerful messages push you to subjectivity.
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