SANDRA L BLOOD
Four young artists—Justin de Verteuil of Germany, Marcus Leotaud, London and Sarah Knights and Taya Serrao, T&T—are hosting a joint exhibition, In Lieu of Flowers, at the Medulla Art Gallery (MAG), 37 Fitt Steet, Woodbrook. It runs until October 30.
Opening hours at the gallery are 10 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and 11 am to 2 pm on Saturdays.
Curators Geoffrey MacLean and Martin D Mouttet explained that the gallery has always encouraged young and independent-thinking artists to display their work. In Lieu of Flowers, a name suggested by de Verteuil emboldens the non-traditional largely expressed through photo-realism where the COVID-19 lockdown is reflected in the personal expressions of the artists’ lives during this period.
De Verteuil explained that the theme was chosen because flowers are a symbol of expressing support. The symbol of giving flowers is particularly pertinent during the pandemic.
He began his study of painting in 2013 and furthered his education at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He also gained knowledge from Peter Doig, Seigfried Anzinger and currently Katharine Wulff.
Apart from the MAG, De Verteuil has exhibited at Contemporary Art Düsseldorf, The Box Gallery, and Friedrich J.H. Schneider-Stiftung/Studienpreis. His paintings for the exhibition were done between January and March, the coldest and darkest days at the beginning of the second lockdown in Germany.
“I can’t write about my paintings explicitly,” he said. “I paraphrase Degas in saying the muses don’t talk to one another, they dance amongst each other . . . ”
De Verteuil hopes the exhibition “dances in one’s thoughts . . . points their feelings towards knowing what paintings can sometimes be for . . .”
He describes the ability to paint as “a reason to leave the house, upend the monotony of day-to-day life.”
Knights has an associate degree in Visual Communications and a Bachelor’s in Visual Arts from The UWI, St. Augustine. Her works are self-portraits inspired by popular culture, politics, and current, social and historical events.
“Collage, embroidery, acrylic and found objects are employed, inviting the viewer to look a bit closer. The subject of self has become very important in my works,” she said.
Knights exhibited solo in 2018 at MAG curated by Mouttet, and among others in group at the US Chief of Mission’s residence, US Embassy, and The Caribbean Centre for the Arts, St Croix.
Leotaud Graduated from Concordia University, Montreal, in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts. While in London he attained his Master’s in Fine Arts from the Chelsea College of Art and Design.
He said his work is best understood under the umbrella of New Romanticism referencing Max Hollein and Martina Weinhart’s catalogue for Ideal Worlds.
“Behind the desire for the paradisiacal, the beautiful, and the magic of fairy tales, the dark and the eerie are present as the insight that utopias are doomed to failure,” he said.
Leotaud’s work has been exhibited at The Whitmore Road Gallery, The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition and The Prince’s Foundation Gallery in London, and he was selected for exhibition at varied galleries in London.
Serrao, a multimedia artist living and working in Port-of-Spain, obtained a Bachelor’s in Fine Art from Cooper Union School of Art in New York in 2018. Contemporary abstract art describes her work, which produces a tremendous flow and movement with her images.
“For this series of paintings, I drew from my surroundings. It was important to look at subjects as though I was seeing them for the first time, a form of creating distance between myself and the subject, in order to really observe it. I am interested in the way that this distance can be depicted on a painted surface and the relationship this process has to photography.”
For more information on the exhibition, call (868)680-1041, (868) 622-1196 or email [email protected] Visit the gallery’s social media pages on Instagram at medullaartgallery, or Facebook at medullaartgallery.