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Memories of artist Ian Ali

By ANNE HILTON Tuesday, August 24 2010

ON AUGUST 13 and 14, the corridor leading to the Hilton Ballroom was converted into an art gallery for a two-day retrospective exhibition of the works of the late Ian Ali — artist, cultural activist, teacher, television pioneer, writer, illustrator and scout leader.

The Hilton was chosen as the venue for the exhibition because Ian Ali had his very first solo exhibition in the hotel, management bought a lot of his paintings, and loaned them for this exhibition titled: “Renaissance 2010, A Revival of the Works of Ian Ali”.In a brief opening ceremony on August 13 the artist’s daughters, friends, and the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Culture paid tribute to the man who loved children, who, surrounded with kids in his ground-breaking TV programme Riki Tiki, taught them to draw, to paint and to appreciate art.

Budding artists who missed the show should kick themselves because several of the pieces on exhibit were unfinished, with chalk lines showing how he intended the work to develop to completion; one might say that in those pieces he is still teaching young people the art of composition and drawing.

While it is best to leave his works to speak for themselves, one remarked that he embraced more than one genre of painting, from the photorealism of “Flamboyant” the folklore of “Papa Bois” the quasi pointillist “Boat #1”, the abstract “Eye of the Beholder”, the unfinished historical “Daaga in Chains” and the impressionist “Om, by the light of a thousand deyas”.

Meanwhile we leave Newsday readers to enjoy this very brief peek at Ian Ali’s retrospective …

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