The 2013 festival artist was Wendy Nanan. Born in Port of Spain in 1955, she obtained the BFA (Painting) in the UK and currently lives and works in Port of Spain. She has been exhibiting regularly since 1985, including shows in France, Britain, Canada, and the Dominican Republic. During the 2012 Lit Fest, works from her Books and Stupas exhibition were installed at the National Library of Trinidad and Tobago.
Transmission pursues Nanan’s interest in the book form, and the idea of the transfer of knowledge. It depicts two pairs of figures in silhouette. In the first pair, the Buddha transmits the knowledge of the Dharma to a Zen Master, “a wordless transference of enlightenment which is possible only when insight matches insight.” The second pair of figures depicts Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama — “the ultimate fulfilment of Lincoln’s Thirteenth Amendment.”
The artist explains: “These are two bookmarks in time, of the human spirit transcending itself to make what once seemed impossible, possible, and of the continuation of the ancestral line of men and women who seek truth. They are drawn as negative profiles, referring to the mental test of whether one sees the positive or negative image. One has to consciously adjust the normal way of looking at things to see the faces.”
From 2011 to 2013, the NGC Bocas Lit Fest invited an artist to create an original limited edition work of art. The first numbered piece in the edition becomes part of the unique Collection of Festival Art of the National Museum and Art Gallery, the sponsor of the work.
The works in the Collection of Festival Art at the National Museum and Art Gallery are: Lapeyrouse Wall, by Peter Doig; Cobo, by Eddie Bowen; Now Showing, by Christopher Cozier; Give and Take, by Chris Ofili; and ☿ Mercury, by Nikolai Noel.
Funds raised from the sale of the signed, numbered works go to the NGC Bocas Lit Fest, which is entirely funded by sponsorship.