Carlisle Chang: Artists you should know.

/ December 19, 2018/ art, artists, Artists you should know, tradtional art/ 0 comments

The Inherent Nobility of Man mural by Carlisle Chang in 1961
Mural: The Inherent Nobility of Man by Carlisle Chang, 1961

In my continued series, started on my old blog, I showcase some artists who you should know. In this installment I talk about an artist who you should know: Carlisle Chang. I originally wrote this blog in response to the destruction of an artist’s public work around the Queen’s Park Savannah a couple of years ago. It reminded me of the mural above and the story behind it. We have art to help us think and see the world in a different way. Art tells a story, and in the case of Carlisle Chang its a story about the people of Trinidad & Tobago. If we destroy our art we essentially destroy ourselves.

I first became interested in Carlisle Chang and especially the The Inherent Nobility of Man because it was on the covers of my CXC History texts. I found it such a striking image I had never seen before. Full of so much detail and little intricacies. It truly was a masterpiece.

The Destruction

Commissioned to paint murals in the sixties, Carlisle Chang, by the then Government of Trinidad & Tobago, the old Piarco Airport terminal mural became his best-known work, The Inherent Nobility of Man, a mural fifty feet long and 15 feet high, painted in the course of three months in 1961. It epitomised the spirit of the country, during the countdown to independence from Britain.

“possibly the most important work of art in the Caribbean.” – Geoffrey MacLean, Art Historian

Chang painted six murals between 1961 and 1964, and it’s one of many public works of art — friezes, collages, panels and copper repoussés — that he produced. In 1979 construction workers destroyed the The Inherent Nobility of Man mural during expansion works at the Piarco airport terminal.

Read the original article here: Carlisle Chang – Caribbean Beat Magazine – Caribbean Beat Magazine

Times remain the same

Recently an artist’s work was destroyed by the ignorance of the police who were instructed by the City’s Aldermen, to remove the artwork on public display around the Trinidad & Tobago Savannah.

I see things have not changed since 1979. We are still destroying our artforms with wanton abandon. The destruction of the mural is now just a mere footnote in history. It has happened, it’s a shame, life goes on. I can find no more investigations into the why the mural was actually destroyed other than “It was to make way for the Piarco extension” So no attempt was made to move the mural, to protect it? Whos decision was it? Did the workmen even blink an eye that they were destroying their own legacy? We may never know.

A reconstruction of the mural, done with loving care and attention by artist Glenn Roopchand, is on display in the National Museum in Port of Spain.  So a wrong was righted in a way, yet we still pay lip service to our arts. Shame.

Ian is an avid fan of art, but has no money to buy nice art. He’s hoping this website will give him capital to buy good art. You, also, should buy good art. You should also contact him to build websites and graphics. Let him help you with your online presence and business. Get in contact here

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