”My bones is why the beach is white” (Jaco, WAV files, 2018)______________________________________________________________________________The ship (Trouvadore) was carrying 20 crew and 193... Read More
”My bones is why the beach is white” (Jaco, WAV files, 2018)
The ship (Trouvadore) was carrying 20 crew and 193 Africans when it sank but soon after landing one African was shot dead. One of the first persons on the scene, Mr Stevenson, was offered $3000 by the Spanish captain to obtain a vessel to take the crew and Africans onto Cuba. Mr Stevenson, who had also helped in the rescue of Africans from the Esperenza in 1837, delayed the Captain enough so that the authorities in Grand Turk could dispatch two ships and a detachment of 17 soldiers to pick up the survivors. Once collected the survivors of the Trouvadore were taken to Grand Turk where the ship’s crew were imprisoned in the upper room of the old court house and the Africans were placed inside the crowded prison. A better long-term solution was needed. Should they be returned to Africa, sent to Nassau for the Bahamas government to deal with or released into the local community? (Turks and Caicos Museum, 2019)
The memory of the past tells us what we owe to our future. This is an excavation of ancestry and wounds laid bare, juxtaposed with knowing and confronting the future. At some point the past must be acknowledged; even if the present is shaped by unspeakable tragedy, it is the wells from which future generations drink. We cannot move forward without resolve.
The Trouvadore was a brigantine sailing under Spanish papers to Santiago, Cuba that ship wrecked on the Caicos Bank; Turks & Caicos in 1841. This work serves as a part of a greater narrative of the illegal slave ship the Trouvadour on it's final journey and the last slaves to arrive in the Turks and Caicos islands. To this day the Turks and Caicos Islands remain a colony of the United Kingdom, the collection is titled: "Tears of the Trouvadore"
The compostion of the piece links the relationship of the possible royality of the captured slave, the connection to the British Kingdom and labours via the symbolism of tears; composed of salt and water. The tears that fall fill the sea that transported the African to the Turks and Caicos and represents the current population's close relationship to it. The bouganvilla petals is representative of the blood spilt and is also an indigenius plant of the Turks and Caicos.