As a Caribbean person, in the the light of our historical circumstances, the assertion of my own narrative and presence is important. At one of my first exhibitions, one viewer warily proclaimed “Who she feel she is to paint she self on such a big canvas?!.. She must feel she is somebody.”
Traditionally, we have never completely controlled or had a share in the historical constructions or the configurations of mass-media that label us, and therefore we always run the risk of being misrepresented. I recall being being told, by a well respected artist, that that if I wanted to make “serious paintings,” that I had to avoid using too much colour.
Needless to say, I did not buy this. I continue to challenge the notion that one has to live and work in a place covered by a grey haze to have a “real” and “serious” life. Years later I even found myself making a large black and white painting in response to this and then had fun decorating and violating it with beautiful pink and red artificial flowers.