In case you’re passing through Harris Promenade in San Fernando, there are two new murals which rejoice the sixtieth anniversary of Trinidad and Tobago being a part of the United Nations. The mural was designed by artist and illustrator Warren Le Platte, and unveiled on October 26.
Le Platte, who works for Newsday as a graphic artist, said he was approached to do the mural in June this yr. He said it embodies the sustainable development goals (SDG) in addition to some distinguished San Fernandians.
“For the education SDG, I focused on inclusion within the classroom, so certainly one of the kids is in a wheelchair; excellence in education, depicted by two children, a boy and a lady who had won awards; in addition to future development in education, so within the classroom they’re studying robotics.
“SDG 2 deals with ending world hunger, and I drew a doubles man, empanadas and a coconut vendor. Gender equality is represented by the feminine vendor selling her own products that she grew and converted into pepper sauce. For community development through culture, under SDG 11, I even have tassa, pan, parang, and the Carnival queens from San Fernando.”
Le Platte said good health and well-being, SDG 3, were shown by two people running in front of a hospital. He said a few of the noteworthy people from South Trinidad represented within the mural were calypsonian Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste, late prime minister Patrick Manning, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, Miss World 1986 Giselle Laronde-West, and 1976 Olympic Gold Medallist Hasely Crawford.
The murals were designed digitally and printed on canvas, which was then mounted behind plexiglass for cover.
“I suggested this method versus an actual painted mural. Generally I wouldn’t wish to paint something on a wall, where you don’t know what could occur, similar with what went on with Carlisle Chang’s and
Jackie Hinkson’s work.”
Chang’s huge mural at Piarco Airport, The Inherent Nobility of Man, was demolished in 1979 when the terminal was expanded. A duplicate was installed on the airport in August this yr. In March 2019, Hinkson’s mural Masquerade, an outline of Carnival through the ages, was slashed while it was on display outside the Alma Jordan library at The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus.
“Not that I’m putting myself on a level with them,” added Le Platte, “but at the identical time, if you’ve gotten it on something that you possibly can mount and unmount, you then preserve the work.
“That is certainly one of the larger pieces of art I’ve done. The most important one before this was five feet by three feet, and this one is eight feet by 4 feet.
“I used to be very happy with the way it turned out in the long run.”
Le Platte said the intention had been to unveil the murals on Independence Day, but the method took longer than expected.
“The unique site visit took place in July and so they gave me the temporary, which modified, because it needed to undergo multiple committees. It was an interesting process, especially with all of the additions. It was an interesting process and a protracted process, having to go backwards and forwards to ensure that everybody was satisfied and the message got here across visually.”
He noted it was probably best that the revealing didn’t happen when it was alleged to.
“We had a variety of clashes. I mean, the most important thing would have been attempting to do the revealing in San Fernando on the identical day they’d that stuff occurring within the Savannah with the Independence Day parade happening after two years of lockdown – that may not have been seen.”
Le Platte is a prolific graphic designer, photographer, illustrator and game developer, in addition to a part-time lecturer in editorial design, graphic design and photography.
He has done design work for corporate entities, UWI, and Amara Organics, in addition to clothing design, package and product design, and editorial design for firms including Republic Bank Ltd, Hi-Lo (Massy Stores) and Cipriani Labour College.
His photographic work encompasses a spread of subjects, including Carnival, food, models, and engagements and weddings. His vibrant digital illustrations explore topics equivalent to TT’s athletes, Carnival and portraits.
In 2017, Le Platte designed and created the board game Santimanitay: Race to the Stage, which relies around Carnival. The sport is designed for two-eight players, and incorporates the history and culture of TT through trivia as players move across the board attempting to make their approach to the Carnival stage.
The UN office in TT (UNTT) said the mural celebrated the SDGs and San Fernando’s past, present and future. In a post on its Facebook page it said, “Doubles and empanadas sold on The Cross, women entrepreneurs selling within the Sando Market, the town’s academic excellence, Palmiste Park, the San Fernando Teaching Hospital, the cultural extravaganzas at Skinner Park and the Queens of Carnival from San Fernando were all honoured within the mural. The centrepiece is the tribute to San Fernandians who went on to grow to be national icons in leadership, governance, science, culture and sport.”
Present at the revealing were MPs for San Fernando Faris Al-Rawi and Brian Manning; mayor Junia Regrello; Mickela Panday, who brought greetings on behalf of her father, Basdeo Panday; Laronde-West; and representatives of the San Fernando City Corporation and the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Commerce.
UNTT said the project was an initiative of the UN Communications Group for TT, with special support from UNHCR and UN Women Caribbean, in collaboration with the San Fernando City Corporation.