The Poisoning of Carnival

Band Camp drawings

One of the things I like about Carnival is the artwork that accompany the selling of mas costumes. I have always found that the quality of the illustrations are equal in power to the intention ofthe person or people who create the costumes.

Smallbands get their drawings done by either the designer of the costumes or someone they believe can draw figures in motion.I am always fascinated by the funny frozen poses ofmen and women in similarly coloured outfits with pants for men and bras and sarongs for women. The women are always wearing makeup and the men are always a bit overly beefy in musculature. The couples always have something in their hands called a standard, or if this is not the case, in any drawings I have seen over the years the artist tries to keep the fingers on the hands as simple as possible.

Almost all of the time these drawings are naïvely drawn, the person having only the most basic sense of figures in motion. However the big band leaders who have backgrounds in drawing the form have pushed the concepts of drawings much further. The masquerader has been able to experience the costumes on miniature versions of themselves by way of dolls done several years ago by Wayne Berkley.

Peter Minshall’s drawings have gone from beautifully rendered fashion design sketching to even include colour swatches with the costumes, and Poison bandleaders have filmed models in peek condition modelling the costumes, some of them continue to display the choices live at the mas camp or actual size mannequins are used. I would be remiss if I give the impression that only big bands go allout with clever presentations, many small and medium Jouvert mud bands also take pictures of their membersin the costumes for their presentations. In fact the combination of photography and life sized mannequins are becoming common place.Yet to me it is the awkward drawings from all types of camps that still resonate the longest. In fact BrianMc Farlane’s,

The Washing, last year featured drawings that were quite in keeping with the work from smallerbands. His drawings of men and women were very similar in nature, the tendency was toward the short and stocky form. For those who are short and stocky I am sure that the drawings made them feel at home.

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