Dominican paintings are strongly influenced by the island’s verdant and colorful landscape, and the lifestyle of the people.
Describe as “the nature island”, Dominica prides itself on being an eco-destination. A tropical utopia, Dominica’s innate features entail volcanic peaks, forests, and beaches.
The built up, or transformed, landscapes depict brilliantly colored shacks lining city streets. At the other spectrum, wooden abodes dot the countryside. Local artists are proud people and ply their works all over the island. Dominican paintings are often done in striking bold colors. Expressively, scenes of bustling markets, musical performers, flowers, trees, waterfalls, sea sides, and people are often portrayed in Dominican paintings.
Some of the earliest Dominican paintings do not revealed the elaborate hues used in the art that is presented today. Instead, paintings were made with subtle shades of colors. And the pieces seem to have a mysterious aura to them and they were more in tune with the era in which they were created. Notably, “A Cudgelling Match between English & French Negroes in the Island of Dominica, circa 1810“, “Dominica Linen Market” and “Market Day” by Agostino Brunias (1728 – April 2, 1796).
Contemporary painters of Dominica today possess immense talent as it relates to the creation of fine art. But because it is such a tiny and secluded island, not much is known about Dominican paintings to the outside world. This year (2015), myself and a group of naturalists from L’ EcoResorts traveled to Dominica to hike the Waitukubuli National Trail (see 6 Days Eco Tour in Dominica), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While there, we visited a number of nature sites and attended cultural and art events. During our expedition, we had the chance to enjoy the works by the following Dominican painters: Earl Etienne, Marvin Fabien, Hilroy Fingal, Marie Frederick, Aaron Hamilton, Pauline Marcelle, Lowell Royer, and Annika Wide. This is by no means an exhaustive list and there are many more noteworthy painters and artists in Dominica. And as we discover more of these artists and their work, we will continue to update the information here.
Article by: Tiffany Huggins