Patrimony 2008

December 25, 2009

Trinidad and Tobago’s Coat Of Arms assembled from thread and wire ~ a dimensional embroidered drawing.
Size:3 1/4’x 2 3/4′

This body of work took its focus from my concerns about governance. I had done work on domestic violence and violence in boys as they grow to adulthood. Yet my thoughts began to focus on the question,what about the emotional violence that is heaped on society when leaders go astray? That question led to this installation called,Patrimony.

Our prime minister’s name is Patrick Manning, and of late, many people have subverted the name to “Patrick Money.”

Ours is a country of great wealth. Apart from oil and gas, we are bountiful in many ways. We can grow sugar cane, cocoa, coffee. We are capable of so much, and yet, so many people in the country have terrible water problems, issues for good, affordable housing and other basic needs.


For everyone who flashes their Porshe or House and LandRover, there is a person waiting for a red band maxi.

The Coat of Arms related to Trinidad and Tobago as a very strong symbol, and I had been working with it for several years.
As a formally colonial island (independent in 1962)I wanted to look at this symbol of our nations aspirations and ask, where are we going? The threads in red resonated the dominant color of our nations’ flag. It also had a blood-like quality in its thin staitions that fell from the wire.

As the piece was installed, there was an unexpected moment of silence. We were quite spooked by the solemn nature of the work as it silently spun in space. We eventually broke our collective silence by talking about what we observed,and were surprised to learn that we found the piece extremely sad. Yet within that sadness, also sprang hope.

Adele Todd at the Space in 2008, Trinidad

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