I take art, all expressions very seriously. Professor Rex Nettleford was one of the critical elements of my education. I had him as a tutor for creative writing.
More importantly, I often times remember a number of things Professor Rex Nettleford would say whenever you need to know the progress of a country, observe how that country treats its artist.
The late professor would say it is the artists who see beyond the natural and interpret and translate for others to be able to relate and they themselves understand.
He called me to his office while I wrote for the Gleaner’s Art Section and firmly told me that I should never stop writing about the Art of Jamaica.
I didnt understand then the fascination of the public with my writings, but over time I will.
Still the Professor encouraged me to write whether I made money or not, and with reference to his own experiences told me to write even when I was not being paid.
Somehow it will pay off. He was disturbed by critics who came to his productions and described a blue cloth at the top as the sky for lack of understanding and did worse by recording their thoughts.
I’ve done my research, and found it to be true about the progress of a nation. First world countries such as USA, Spain really do spend quality time and dime on the creative among them.
Science and art
After all how would Albert Einstein be revered for his productions had it not been for his creative side. To even imagine the connection between science and art is another matter, much more the role of creative education towards honing inventors and entrepreneurs.
Did you know the colour wheel adapted by artist was invented by a scientist? More importantly how many Jamaicans understand the role of Jamaican artists anywhere or do they even have a role. Barrington Watson, who in my opinion is a master of Jamaica art in his own right was instrumental in the creation of art education in Jamaican schools, so that an actual exam can be now taken. We salute Edna Manley and others too for the roles they played in art education generally.
I look forward when the art curriculum will be fully realised in schools.