Grounds series II

Tunapuna, Trinidad

Tunapuna, Trinidad

There are gravesites with information about arriving on the island and dying of fever in 1868, Chinese characters and hybrid names from intermarriage with other wealthy families as well as ornate Italian marble sculpture and wrought iron burglar proofing on crypts that look like miniature copies of shrines and houses of the living.

San Fernando, Trinidad

The cemetery is an unlikely treasure trove of taste, class, styles and times, slowly rotting before our eyes as we pay it no mind until we have to visit it for a funeral. There are people living in these spaces, up to all kinds of activities, clandestine and otherwise. There are the ditch diggers, the staff of the cemeteries, the relatives and the dead themselves. We passed by a crypt at one point that had the heaviest air about it, and when we were finished with our visit, we felt it necessary to visit the churches. They are also part of his interest in the theme of time and decay.

San Fernando, Trinidad

The churches tell another story of equal relevance. They ask even more questions about the island, the people who live in the area, of where we have come from and where we are going. Some of the areas are sleepy villages, others are flush with wealth. The balance is part of the whole understanding of ourselves on these small islands.

If only we could see where we stand in the greater scheme of things. But fortunately Richard has done it for us. Richard Bolai and Adele Todd – A plan for a book on the Trinidad Aesthetic is in the process.

Archives from thebookman website 2004, above, Carenage

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