In an attempt to highlight some of Guyana’s emerging talent, particularly from our premier art institution the E.R. Burrowes School of Art, I decided to extend my platform so that the public could be better acquainted with future Guyanese art practitioners. This week’s feature highlights Kamladeo Sahadeo, a young artist whose works are predominantly paintings and ceramics.
Dominique Hunter: Tell me a little bit about some of your works on display.
Kamladeo Sahadeo: I majored in painting with a minor in ceramics. The theme for my work is “Expression of a devotee” so most of my work is based on that theme. My major task was done with rice and beads. I chose the colours based on the chakras. Peacock feathers were used because it is said that peacock feathers safeguard positive energy. There are other pieces that deviate from the theme but those are earlier works done at Burrowes. The fruit in the painting, thepomegranate, is used in sacred offerings.
DH: What inspired you to enrol at the art school?
KS: I had never known about an art school in Guyana until I saw an ad in the newspapers about an art competition by the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. I wanted to enter but I didn’t get the chance because I was busy doing other things and the time just passed. After that, I sent out some applications but I didn’t get any response. So I decided to try Burrowes. I called first then I went in and they registered me for some courses. I started in September and that was the beginning of my journey. I’ve improved a lot since then.I did the certificate program but I spent three years at Burrowes. I think it was good because I learnt a lot of things that I didn’t know. I didn’t know that art could be as broad and that there are different things you could talk about in art. Art is not just about painting and drawing.
DH: What led to your decision to choose painting and ceramics?
KS: Painting was always my passion. It’s something I’ve always liked to do. Ceramics is something I always wanted to do. I like making things with clay but I never had the chance to do so. When I started Burrowes I realized there was a lot you can do with clay and different techniques you can use to make things out of clay.
DH: Did you encounter any challenges?
KS: There were some difficulties with work but I got past those challenges. My biggest challenge was that I didn’t know about shading and blending colours. That’s why most of my paintings are not that realistic. But I’m going to work more so that I can enhance my paintings. Back then my paintings were really flat with just the outline and colour inside but now that I’ve gone through the art school and I know about the techniques I have a better understanding of how to apply my paints.
DH: What are some of your plans for now?
KS: I want to have my own studio on the West Coast of Demerara. I know that it’s hard here in Guyana because people don’t really appreciate art much but I will still try my luck. I know my passion lies in art and I feel comfortable working with painting, ceramics and drawing. I won’t go into a field where I’m not comfortable because that wouldn’t make sense. So I’m just going to stick with my art.
Kamladeo Sahadeo along with eight other students (all female) exhibited their art works at the recently concluded examination exhibition at the Umana Yana, as part of the requirements for graduation from the E.R. Burrowes School of Art. The graduation ceremony for the budding artists will be held later in the year.
This article was first published in the Pepperpot magazine of the Sunday Chronicle newspaper on October 9, 2016. Click on the link to be redirected to their website: