artist

Antonius Roberts' Newest Sacred Space at the Cove, Atlantis, Paradise Island

By Neko Meicholas

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I am not interested in writing fancy, big-worded, pretentious, pleonastic art reviews—in short no bafflegab for me. I have neither the inclination, nor the desire and I would prefer to write about my gut reaction to an artist’s work.

I have just returned from an awesome experience. Everything seemed to align to make it wonderful. And to think, I had been tempted not to bother to attend, simply because I could barely muster the energy to stuff myself into stiff clothing. I’m so happy that I ignored my cave-dwelling, hermit’s personality and made the effort. I put on the clothes, got into the truck, drove over the bridge, etc, etc.

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We arrived early. We had half an hour before we were to be met. As we were at the Cove on Paradise Island, waiting in their beautiful surroundings would be absolutely no problem. What is more, today was the first day of Bahamian winter which meant that the temperature was simply perfect—not too hot, not too cold. So we sat in their breezeway and we spent the time watching…the carp? Koi? Fish!

By the time our greeter, who had walked past us twice, finally realized that we had arrived early and cautiously approached asking who we were, we had been waiting for nearly forty minutes. I had seen her both times and had a more than 1,000% correct inkling that she was the one meeting us, but I wanted to take some photos and I wanted to watch the fish and so I played truant, looking for an excuse to avoid being shut in by ceremony. No harm done…cheerfully, our greeter finally escorted us through the many walkways of the Cove, onto the waiting buggy and then out onto the beach at the wondrous Cove Point.

We were already perfectly calm from our visit with the fish but—the ocean, the setting sun, the Junkanoo drummers playing in front of the fire and the view, in the distance, of the sculptures in Antonius Roberts’ newest Sacred Space simply made for perfect tranquility.

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(L to R) Annette & Antonius Roberts with Patricia Glinton-Meicholas

(L to R) Annette & Antonius Roberts with Patricia Glinton-Meicholas

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We were in an extraordinary space. A foretaste of heaven maybe?

The big G’s natural resplendence, and the man-made glory He doubtless inspired was reaching out to touch our tired, slightly discouraged, and definitely overburdened souls. As we walked along the sand and finally stood in the centre of Antonius' seven praying women I took a deep breath and simply reveled in the moment, the art surrounding me and the perfection of my surroundings. Everything had worked together in perfect harmony.

The carved wooden women with their copper headdresses stood in still adoration and in contrast against a darkening sky, lending to its own mauve-tinged glory. The event introducing the bevy of sculptures to the group was brief. It opened with Jack and B’er Debbil—a fun session of storytelling by Patricia Glinton-Meicholas; a few words from the COO of Atlantis, Audrey Oswell and then the artist, Antonius Roberts paid a tribute to women—especially those who have contributed to his formation.

Cameras dangling, I stood on the side clicking away and simply standing quietly in and enjoying the moment. Was anyone else feeling what I was feeling?

As with all good things they end far too quickly. Personally, I would have happily spent another few hours in that glorious space that was filling me with such a wonderful sense of much needed peace.

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I am never satisfied…

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I wonder if it is the curse of many artists to never be satisfied with anything you have done? I will draw and redraw and redraw and am still hardly ever satisfied with the end product.

And…

Why does it always seem to take forever to get anything completed when you are working with deadlines.

I have been working on the illustrations for LUSCA and Other Fantastic Tales for a very very very long time. Partly because I lacked the discipline and the focus to simply sit down and complete the task and then as crunch time approached I was redrawing everything because this fin did not look right or I needed more tentacle to show. As usual I have scrapped more drawings than actually ended up in the new book.

It puts a lot of pressure on you when you are trying to preserve the creatures of Bahamian folklore. It is no longer just about creating a drawing. It becomes a mission to preserve as accurately as possible a part of your heritage that is rapidly disappearing… Here’s to hoping that I have succeeded, in some small way, in saving a small bit of our heritage for generations to come.

ABOUT LUSCA
LUSCA is a creature from Bahamian folklore. Out of the depths of the sea, it has the head of a shark and the body of an octopus. In Patricia Glinton-Meicholas' story she is given the role of a protector/avenger. And although you are not supposed to play favourites LUSCA is one of mine…