Art is a sense of communication — it influences society by changing opinions, translates experiences across space and time and by introducing culture and values. Today’s post is about five female artists from the Caribbean. These amazing artists highlight (in my opinion) the beauty of the Caribbean islands; in the form of the people, landscapes, and culture. I would love to hear your thoughts on this blog post.
Heleen Cornet – Saba
Heleen Cornet, born in The Netherlands, achieved a degree in education and a master’s degree in fine arts from the Academy of Fine Arts. After teaching fine arts for nine years in Bonaire, she moved in 1986 to Saba to be an art teacher. Together with her husband, she opened her own Gallery and published several books, of which she did the illustrations. At first, Heleen only works with watercolour, but once decided that the paper was getting too small, she made the switch to oil painting. She still uses watercolour for her plein air paintings. Heleen draws inspiration from the rain forest in Saba, religious symbols and the underwater world of Saba.
Jean Girigori – Curaçao
On January the 14th of 1948, Jean Grigori was born on a boat in the middle of the Caribbean Sea. Now, even though the boat first touches Haiti, Jean spends her first years of life living in Santo Domingo. In 1967 Jean met her first husband, who is a renowned Haitian painter, Paul Jorge Hector. Even though she had been drawing since childhood, it began with this meeting, that she became a painter. At first, she began with helping him in the studio, but soon graduated and started painting with him. After she had developed her technique she got her first exhibitions in Haiti, Santo Domingo and Jamaica. She gained international recognition. Jean moved to the Dutch island of Curaçao, the country of her father. Her work is a celebration of the courageous women and children of the Caribbean. And they ask to be recognized for the great contribution these women make to their community. Her paintings are vibrant and are called ‘Speransa’, meaning hope.
Joya Cousin — Antigua
The painter Joya Cousin is born on the island of Antigua. As a curious child, she loved to draw. In 2015 her life changed forever after she met the man who would become her husband and moved from Antigua to France. In a 100-day art therapy project, she started to experiment with drawing in coloured pencils, pastels and then painting in watercolours and finally in acrylics. She gets inspired by the dramatic effects of light and shadow by Rembrandt, and the bold use of colour and individual brush strokes by van Gogh. Her work has a vivid yet realistic style, where she features the old and the young.
Nicole Edgecomb – Saint Lucia
Nicole is an intuitive artist from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. She is a self-taught artist who enjoys the freedom of discovery and the mystery of making mistakes. She has participated in several local exhibitions as well as online international exhibitions. Through her art, she changes fear into hope, pain into joy and despair into optimism. When she is not painting, Nicole practices as a licensed Clinical Psychologist.
Heidi Berger, Barbados
Heidi Berger is a self-taught artist who lives in Barbados. She has been drawn to painting people, primarily women, since she can remember. Many of the women of Barbados, where her family has had a home for almost four decades, continue to inspire her with their dignity and beauty. “As an artist and as “almost Bajan”, I am an observer and a witness— I am constantly on the look-out for people who “speak” to me, for the look or gesture which prods me to hang on to that moment, their moment, in paint.” — Heidi Berger