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The Foreshore

On the north-west coast of Trinidad, where the island almost curves back on to itself, there is a highway that follows the shoreline and the view is… well… spectacular.

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The Audrey Jeffers Highway is a dual carriageway on the island of Trinidad that runs from Port of Spain along the north west coast to the old American base at the northwest tip of Trinidad, Chaguaramas.  Only the part of the highway that runs immediately alongside the shoreline is referred to as The Foreshore.

I was commissioned by a fellow Trinidadian to paint the view from the Foreshore. It is a scene that almost every Trini is familiar with. You only have to drive along The Foreshore at any point between dawn and dusk to see a view that will blow your mind. The client who commissioned this painting worked in the capital (Port of Spain) and lived in Diego Martin, one of the suburbs north west of the capital, for many many years. As she put it, “I used to sit in traffic trying to get home and just stare out across the water.” She found it so calming and soothing that she wanted to bring that view home with her, hence the commission.

Originally, she only asked for a landscape but as it was a commission, I was able to use the information that I knew about her to make the piece much more personal to her experience. For examples, I’ve included the names of places that she lived, people that she worked with, her love for and involvement in music. You see she’s a retired music teacher who loves Trinidad Carnival especially J’Ouvert. She did her teacher training in Tobago, arranged and conducted music for youth steel orchestras, and even made a few carnival costumes during her school (teaching) years. Armed with this knowledge, the landscape has become one that is completely tailored to her life, reflecting some of her peak moments and fun times, all hidden within the view that she loves best – the view from The Foreshore.

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