Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Bruce Cayonne: Once Upon a Fete

Thursday 11 to Thursday 18 February, 2021, at Granderson Lab


During the month of February 2021, artist and sign painter Bruce Cayonne is in residence at Granderson Lab. Cayonne’s work spans over thirty years, and he is responsible for shaping a visual language unique to Trinidad and Tobago — the fete sign.

During his residency, in collaboration with Alice Yard, Cayonne will present a series of over twenty-five hand-painted fete signs — WASA, Army, Short Pants, Boxing Nite, Licensing, and more — recreating original signs from the 1990s from memory. The signs will be installed at Granderson Lab, and outdoors on Erthig Road, between Pelham Street and Norfolk Street.

Once Upon a Fete opens on Thursday 11 February and runs until Thursday 18 February, from 5 to 9 pm daily. Face masks are mandatory and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in effect.


About the artist:

Bruce Cayonne is an artist and sign painter based in Arima, Trinidad. He has been painting fete signs for the past thirty years. His iconic work has come to define the visual landscape and history of Trinidad and Tobago with his signature fete style — bold, precise lettering against colourful and vibrant gradient backgrounds, each sign hand-painted on hardboard and hammered onto lightposts. The signs promote upcoming events, from all-inclusive fetes to local markets and festivals. His work can also be found elsewhere in the Caribbean, in places like Grenada, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and Guyana.
Over the past three decades, Cayonne has produced thousands of signs and has collaborated with numerous artists and musicians, such as DJs like Kabuki, Dr Hyde, Howie T, Foreigner, and Nyahbinghi, and visual artists like Christopher Cozier (T&T), Blue Curry (UK/Bahamas) and ds4si/Intelligent Mischief (USA). Once Upon a Fete is his first solo exhibition, featuring fete signs from the early 1990s to the late 2000s.

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