“The Chief’s legacy is assured, his place in history preserved, and the memory of his presence forever etched on minds….” Those were the words of Neil Parsanlal, Chairman of the Board of NALIS, as he delivered the feature address at the opening of the exhibition, Eye Hayti… Cries Everywhere, in honour of Master Artist, LeRoy Clarke, at the National Library on March 23.
The Eye Hayti… Cries… Everywhere exhibition, which is mounted at the Rotunda and the Heritage Library, features black and white drawings. According to Clarke, the collection “is a dedication to the Haitian people… whose courage is unassailable in the struggle to preserve humanity in fulfilling their destiny.”
Commenting about the drawings in the collection, Parsanlal said, “But above all, these pictures should jolt us out of the pandemic of apathy for which no vaccine other than determined action can cure. Each of the 37 paintings should take us back to the earthquake of 2010, a disaster of monumental proportions that killed more than 300,000 persons and instantly rendered 1.5 million homeless.”
Also at the launch, Clarke’s daughter, Adaeze, who now heads De Legacy House of LeRoy Clarke El Tuchuchean Foundation, delivered an emotive speech about her father’s work and legacy. Also paying tribute to Clarke were Eintou Pearl, founder and former Director of the Heritage Library as well spoken word artist, Darren Salandy; both delivering oratory performances.
Clarke, also known as Chief Ifa’ Oje Won Yomi Abiodum, is a philosopher, national icon and Honorary Fellow of the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Although he is well known for his contemporary art, he is a proficient writer, penning many essays on issues of national importance and is the author of several publications.
The public is invited to view the drawings at the Heritage Library which will be on display for three months, and those at the Rotunda for one month.