Nicolas Thomas, better known as “Nico” has apparently always had a penchant for art. This native son of Grenada from Malti in St David, in spite of lack of understanding from his peers, has forged his way forward. From St. David’s Catholic Secondary School, to T A Marryshow Community College , to half way around the world at ISI Padangpanjang in Indonesia, he has relentlessly pursued his art education.
The efforts of his single-minded focus can be viewed at the Grenada National Museum. Opening to a small but appreciative crowd on Wednesday 18 December, the many large paintings told his story in colour and texture. A tremendous amount of effort has gone in to the many paintings on display. His cultural observation of Indonesia can be seen, mixing boldly with Grenadian culture icons. The dancing ladies, the shortknee, and the children have all worked their way in to Indonesian people, poses and posterity.
His art history studies are apparent, as he takes Salvador Dali’s surrealism and Georges Seurat’s pointillism and combines their ground breaking techniques from well over 100 years ago in to one painting, that looks very contemporary in 2013. His humorous painting of a group of dogs, hearkens back to Caravaggio — the card players. The portraits of older people are touching, and imbued with respect from the artist.
Even though he has been studying in Indonesia, Nico’s heart never left Grenada. Scenes of the Carenage abound, with a particular evening light dominating. These are also heavily textured with sand below the paint. The uneven surface gives a lovely, imperfect quality to the subject. The French artist Jean DuBuffet may have been one of the first painters to use this impasto style with many materials beside paint included in the mix. Again, this well-informed artist is using what is available to him to create a personal reflection of his Grenada.
Another young Grenadian, pursuing art as a career; Nico is well on his way. The hope for him is that the leadership of Grenada itself will begin to understand the social and economic power this brings. Institutional support is a must to keep these young people contributing to a brighter, more prosperous Grenada.
The exhibit will remain up at the Grenada National Museum through the New Year, from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Entrance is free, and donations are appreciated. The originals are for sale, as well as prints.