by Judy Antoine and Asher Mains
Friday evening at the Maurice Bishop International Airport was not business as usual. Flights came and went as usual as far as anyone knew, but there was something pulsating from the Waving Art Gallery that sent the visitors to the opening reception of Godfrey Luke’s exhibit on a different sort of journey.
It may have been the way the drumming filled the space, it may have been the exciting, narrative, figurative sculptures made of found materials or the journey may have been the result of bringing the children and families of Ashanti Footprints to the airport to bear witness. With work recently shown at the 4th Annual Grenada Contemporary, Godfrey Luke reflects in his statement,
“I always pray before I work. So, my works are answered prayers. I work with paint, charcoal, wire, and natural material. I work indoors and outdoors — on canvas, clothing, costumes. Along with working with my hands, I am a performer and teacher — dance, drumming, singing, stilt walking, handicraft. For me, it’s God first. It’s all about prayers. The work is not about me. It’s what you find.”
Judy Antoine, a fellow director of Ashanti Footprints, says about Luke, “Godfrey paints, designs clothing, carves wood, makes drums…he is a channel of creativity. And to hear him tell it, he gets his inspiration through his prayers. His ancestors are a constant reminder of who he is, where he comes from. Where he is going is a path that God creates, and Luke follows, kinda like the Luke of the Gospel. Godfrey is spreading God’s love through the arts. This love is expressed in Luke’s work with the children in Ashanti Footprints, and children all over. This exhibition is a sort of anniversary for the group, which was formed in November 2013. Luke has over 20 years teaching, children and adults in Grenada, Trinidad, and the US. He has performed in Grenada, Trinidad, Venezuela, Canada, and the United States.” Cristina Joseph, director of operations for the Grenada Airport Authority said in her remarks, “Godfrey’s art enhances the cultural side of the airport and also shows respect for nature and the protection of the environment through art.”
Godfrey Luke’s commitment to well-made sculptures, culture, and his tireless focus on education and development makes this exhibit and more than just an exhibit of sculptures made from recycled materials. This exhibit is an outpouring — the excess and abundance of love, community and the interconnective power of art to imagine a better world. In April 2018 Godfrey Luke will be opening ‘Chip and Chisel Museum’ in Calliste, St George. This will also be home to the Ashanti Footprints Performance Studio, which will be a space to make and share art as well as an avenue for cultural exchange, and a place to hosts artists in residence.
Godfrey Luke is available for workshops in visual and performing arts. Look out for him with Chip & Chisel Museum, and Ashanti Footprints Performance Studio. The exhibit at the Waving Art Gallery will be open until mid-January 2018; visitors are encouraged to go and see it while it is up! The exhibition was made possible by the partnership between Grenada Airport Authority and the Grenada Arts Council. Godfrey Luke can be contacted directly at [email protected].