Soul Adventurers….oh my dear dear Soul Adventurers
I have have a treasure to share with you. Really, for all those who have been lurking on the art scene like yours truly, this is not a secret at all, but, for those who may be new to the island or who are living under a rock I would like to make a Grenada Soul Adventurer introduction to artistic Soul Adventurer Teddy Dwight Frederick.
(From his recent exhibit “The Opposite of Orange”)
The story, nee the tale of the magical adventure goes something like this…
Last week Thursday I decided to treat myself to a slice of Sweet Tradition’s Outrageous Chocolate Cake (I cannot make these cake names up!). Carnival was over and I no longer was under the pressure to accomplish the less than enviable task of fitting into a rather sexy little number to jump up in Spice Mas 2014 (I was successful for anyone who wondered).
While sitting down and tucking into the said cake and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s ’ The Great Gatsby’ simultaneously, Teddy walked up to my table. Teddy is no stranger but we are not exactly old friends either. I have spoken to him before since in Grenada people who agitate in similar circles sort of kind of give themselves license to interact freely as if we are companions.
What was initiated by a friendly ‘hihowareyou’ exchange evolved into him taking a seat. We began to chat casually yet not so casually, the conversation was so sweet I no longer need the said cake. I was now consumed in the business of something more nutritious, food for the spirit.
One thing lead to the other and I asked him about his studio space that I had heard about. Chris and Lilo the dynamic artistic duo:Caribbean clothing designers and creators of the whimsical world of Art Fabrik, his fairy artist good mothers as Teddy calls them, decided support Teddy’s amazing gift by providing him with a space to create in.
' Are you doing anything now? You wanna check it out?'.
My being could muster no single hesitation. I packed up my cake and book and within 5 minutes I found myself immersed, not overwhelmingly so, in his work at the rustic, industrial looking studio.
(Teddy at his space on Young Street)
We observed his work and chatted about his journey to and through art, about how he never used his engineering degree a single day, about his ‘Blue Period’ and about his ‘no plan’ plan for the future. Teddy is a conceptual multidisciplinary artist, his work is abstract and fresh. With his pieces he takes you on adventures into a realm his mind creates, he maintains what Asher Mains calls a narrative, and you cannot resist it’s hoover like quality . Teddy gets intense, not overwhelmingly so, seductively so.
(Self Portrait of Teddy from “The Opposite of Orange’)
I have been to two of his recent exhibits and what I appreciate is that on opening night he takes time to communicate with his audience just before he reveals his work. He tells us what has inspired the collection and what inspires him as an artist. Grenada holds a fertile energy for the creative soul. However, many do not have the luxury, under the pressure of the economic crisis, to digest or even view the work that brilliant creatives like Teddy produce. There are just more immediate concerns for the majority of Grenadian people (I will not apologize for digressing). Therefore it is important for the artist to gently lead his or her audience into the realm he or she has created through his or her work, and Teddy just gets that.
(Teddy explains on opening night of “The Opposite of Orange”)
In his most recent exhibit: 'The Opposite of Orange' Teddy created a fresh blend of the various artistic disciplines: performance art, painting and photography to produce life like images of painted people that at first blush look like paintings. The majority of the pieces were blue, an homage to Picasso’s blue period and Teddy’s own past melancholy phase. He drew on the talent of member of the Writers Association of Grenada to narrate what his images evoked within them and adding a deeper dimension to his pieces. Teddy also gets that not everyone has the means to buy an original and so to facilitate those of us with the more (eh hemmmmm) shallow pockets he sold post card sized reproductions of the pieces being exhibited with a narrative on the back.
(small postcard reproductions from “The Opposite of Orange”)
After viewing some of his work at the studio I instinctively pulled out the rest of my Outrageous Chocolate cake. This chance encounter had to celebrated with cake! One moment I was at Sweet Traditions trying to avoid eye contact with the other patrons and the next I was sitting on that exquisite sofa listening to Teddy practice cords on his guitar strung into a musical composition, all while sharing energy with him, with his creations. It is an alternate universe, a break from the monotony into a world created from ideas and emotions- Teddys ideas and emotions.
(out take from the Floatography Exhibit)
(Teddy with his Fairy artist God Mothers)
Teddy’s Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/TheTeddydfrederick