Selected Paintings

"In the 1980's when I began painting in Canada, the various fields of art making were experiencing a revolt against a mainstream art industry that was oblivious to the work of many marginalised sections of Canadian society. Art making necessarily became quite politicized, artists were working as activists for social change, and as a result the original pursuit of painting for the sake of painting was, at least in my case, lost to generations of artists--many of whom, incidentally, still remain on the edges of the markets.

In more recent years I have wanted to return to the pleasurable and intellectual aspects of painting--seeing such a luxury, too, as a political act of insistence on not being sidelined from the pure practice of art itself. The question, the struggle, has been how to work for change in society through one's art, without ever giving up the integrity of the art itself.

In addition, I have wanted my paintings to serve as a way of integrating me into a landscape outside of the cities in which we--immigrants--tend to congregate, and to which we seem relegated in the imagination of audiences. My paintings are about 'seeing' and interpreting, and about a physical kind of immersion, while holding on to the sensibilities developed in childhood and elsewhere.

The following albums show a range of works over the years I've been painting--which was interrupted for a number of years during which I wrote several novels."

"The following Paintings are in acrylic on canvas. They were done from 2015-2016. They are a study of the flora of the Southern Ontario landscape, and attempt to 'see' this landscape, but to render it without losing my Trinidadian 'accent'."

Acrylic on canvas. These paintings are from the "Hidden in the Orchid's Centre Series. Focusing in on a tiny section of a sepal of orchids from my collection. The amazing patterning is lost to the glance, but mesmerising if you pay close attention.

In 1995, Xerox Canada gave me access for three months to one of their photocopiers built for artists. The first image here is a composite of photos 'built' on the machine, and is part of a larger work of images that was shown at the 1995 Venice Bienale in a pavilion called Transculture.  That work is called Ad Wall, and was installed in a courtyard at the Bienale.

  • @shanimootoo

Related Links