Artist Denize Ledeatte presented an artwork collection titled ‘Waladi Ruby 40’ to Antigua andBarbuda at the High Commission in London.
According to Ledeatte, the Waladi Ruby 40 wascreated to reflect and celebrate Antiguan and Barbudan history, the twin-island state’s comingof age, and its future potential through an artistic lens.
The art pieces consist of an abstracted figurative triptych painting, with four original abstractpieces that are extensions of the central poetic text, which creates the storyline reflectingAntigua and Barbuda’s journey.
Moreover, the pieces are supported with abstractedphotographs with embedded images of her mother and father their stories of sacrifice and compassion while contributing to community development in the UK and, more so, Antigua and Barbuda.
Ledeatte reignited her artistic passion following her father’s untimely death,which imbued a greater sense and inspiration of artist, identity, and heritage.
Present at the handover via zoom was Prime Minister Gaston Browne and Director of Culture Khan Cordice, along with High Commissioner Karen Mae Hill and Alphonso Peters, President of the Antigua and Barbuda National Association (London).
Prime Minister Browne commended Denize on creating such impressive pieces of artwork incapturing the history of Antigua and Barbuda.
He further noted that “we need to expand theinsights towards capturing the country’s historical buildings, the landscape as it is now, and ourpeople; though some exist, more needs to be done to tell our story”.
Prime Minister Browne also extended an initiation to Denize assistance in strengthening capacity within the nation’sschools, sharing insights with budding artists on how to best preserve our history.
Echoing the Prime Minister sentiments, High Commissioner Hill congratulated Denize oncapturing critical junctures of our history through artistic and visionary lens on canvas.
Shealso highlighted that there are many gifted, skilled, and talented persons in the diaspora acrossmany critical areas of developmental interest and that the High Commission will further seekout opportunities for such persons to contribute to the development of Antigua and Barbuda.
Khan Cordice expressed his appreciation for the presentation of the artistic gift to the nationon the 40th anniversary of independence.
The Director of Culture noted that “in a postpandemic world, one aspect I want to see in the creative industry is for us to ‘build back better’our relations with the diaspora, especially as we look to develop what the world now calls the 2’Orange Economy”.
The Director further added, “we need to have a better connection withpersons of Antiguan and Barbudan heritage, who are the champions of our country in thediaspora and see how we can create a platform and create initiatives that are beneficial both inthe development of the creative industry”.
Denize is a first-generation Diasporan Antiguan and an award-winning artist, having studiedat Croydon College of Art and Design, City Lit, Putney School of Art, Kofi Arts and TheEssential School of Painting.
She is also an award recipient and alumni of the Global WomenInventors and Innovators Network in both British and European categories, as well as a BritishInnovation Society Award recipient and a former Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Denize’swork has been presented at man academic conferences both in the UK and abroad and wasrecently invited as a contributor to the final chapter of the Handbook of Postcolonial Politicspublished by Routledge.