On July 21, two large paintings by local artist, Donald “Jackie” Hinkson, were mounted at the recently refurbished and reopened Heritage Library, situated at the second floor of the National Library Building, Hart and Abercromby Streets, Port of Spain. The mounting of the paintings, ‘Childhood Memories’ and ‘Canboulay Riots’ (Re-Enactment) is part of the Heritage Library’s continuing efforts to present Trinidad and Tobago’s history, culture and stories to the society.
Hinkson’s is the first of the many artists whose works will be mounted on a rotational basis at the Heritage Library. Paintings by other prominent and up-and-coming local artists (who volunteer to be part of this initiative) will also be mounted at this library, which is responsible for preserving and promoting Trinidad and Tobago’s heritage information.
Hinkson, who is no stranger to NALIS, having exhibited 17 of his large paintings at the National Library in 2004 said, “Childhood Memories is based mainly on my memories of my childhood community of Cobo Town, 1940s into 50s.” This painting (oil) is seven feet by eight and a half feet.
Regarding his piece Canboulay Riot Re-enactment (charcoal), which is approximately four feet by eight feet, Hinkson said he captured this during one of the many re-enactments of the riots at upper Duke Street, outside the All Stars pan yard during the carnival season. He explained, “I made small sketches on site and produced this bigger piece in the studio.”
The National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS) is cognizant that the visual and performing arts are powerful components of any library’s collections and the Heritage Library has many such images to share. Its impressive Special Collections’ listing includes works from: Wayne Berkeley’s original carnival costume drawings from the period 1966 to 2000; Carlisle Chang’s collection of carnival costumes paintings from 1966 to 1973; Lionel Jagasser’s carnival sketches from 2012 – 2016; Noel Norton, photographic collection and LeRoy Clarke’s pen and ink drawings.