by Curlan Campbell, NOW Grenada
- Levera artist says huge disparity between money he receives for his paintings, versus the price they are resold
- Travel to his gallery is quite tedious, due to the distance and present state of the access road
- Economic climate for artists in Grenada looks particularly bleak
An artist with this many talents should be making hard cash for his paintings, but the reality for struggling artist Doliver (Morain) Noel of Levera, St Patrick proves that not all talented people get recognised or compensated for their creative abilities.
Near his home, a huge art display extends out alongside the dirt road that leads to the Levera Beach. Visiting his studio gallery, strategically place outside, one first notices life-size figures made from discarded metal, some playing various instruments.
Inside his art gallery, most of Noel’s many unique paintings depict farmers picking cocoa, fishermen pulling nets at the shore, or schools of fish with birds circling. A number of his plyboard paintings showcase abstract painting of women. He also has on display antique items he has collected, including 18th-century bottles, jars, and tools.
Born in November 1959, this self-taught artist and antique collector started his artistic journey in 2005. His painting style slowly got recognition, but the artist says there is a huge disparity between the amount of money he receives for his paintings, versus the price they are resold.
For a man with this many talents, Noel continues to struggle to sell his paintings, and whenever he does, the revenues collected barely buy his necessities. “Most times, people buy my paintings from me to sell over, but sometimes the price they are paying me is too little. They will pay me $100, but when you go to their gallery, you see it for $500-$600. This is not fair. It’s difficult because sometimes when I go to St George’s, and I sell my paintings, sometimes I get $200-$300, only enough to buy my gas and some food items but sometimes the money is not enough to buy clothes.”
Noel showed NOW Grenada the state of his dilapidated wooden home and said he would love to change his present circumstances, once given the assistance to sell his paintings. “I would love to see artists receive recognition for their work, and that the government organises art shows to promote Grenadian artists so that we can make a living from what we do.”
Travel to his gallery is quite tedious, and Noel admits this is a major challenge, as his gallery is not easily accessible due to the distance and present state of the access road. “Most times I feel like giving up because I am doing this for so long and barely surviving. It makes me feel like turning back. Since I have been here there, seem to be no changes. The road remains difficult to traverse, and it seems nothing is being done to improve it. I believe if the road were passible tourists would visit my place regularly.”
Noel says the economic climate for artists in Grenada looks particularly bleak and hopes that government intervenes to assist struggling artists to find a market for their paintings.