Accepted Paper:

Towards A Life in Images - The 'Walk About' Sketches of Maurice DaCosta  


Courtney Hogarth (The University of the West Indies)

Paper short abstract:

This paper takes as its core the locating of Maurice DaCosta within the broad movement of art in Jamaica, with particular focus on his 'Walk About' series through which he fully explores the ballpoint medium, whilst narrating the story of a small Jamaican town - Chapelton.

Paper long abstract:

Maurice DaCosta internalized the words of the French Master, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres,"Drawing is the probity of art". Something of a child prodigy, whose artistic talents were recognized early on and fostered through both the Junior Centre of the Institute of Jamaica and the fledgling Jamaica School of Arts and Crafts, Maurice DaCosta dedicated several decades of his life to Art Education. While this, in large measure, prevented him from painting, as he would have liked, yet it didn't dull his appetite for observing the world around him, through drawing.

After pursuing studies at the Central School of Art in London, he returned to Jamaica in 1975 to head the Art Department at Clarendon College. Six years later, he would embark upon what he has termed his 'Walk About' series, depicting the land and people in and around the town of Chapelton, in upper Clarendon. This oeuvre in drawing and sketching explored the poetic possibilities of the ballpoint medium.

This observation of life progressed simultaneously with DaCosta's philosophical flowering, as both educator and individual. Possessive of broad knowledge, DaCosta's drawings and sketches eloquently course his geography, exploring the metamorphosis and maturation of visual language. Too, we have, through the 'Walk About' series, a veritable history of development and changes that have occurred in and around Chapelton for well over three decades.

The author's perspective will be historical, philosophical and biographic, employing that rich tapestry which is DaCosta's 'Walk About' oeuvre.

Panel P055
The Anthropology of Drawing