William “Dr Will B” Bannister, left, and Lionel Douglas admire Bannister’s painting which captures a scene of West Indies wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin running out a Sri Lankan player at the recent World T20 tournament.
The exhibition My Love Story currently showing at Nalis, represents 50 years of work by calypsonian William “Doctor Will B” Bannister. The artist shows his versatility in more than 80 pieces about life in Trinidad and Tobago, divided into several categories—Pan Culture, Calypso Culture, Scenery, BuildingsHeritage, Remember When and Sport.
At the opening, Bannister, who is usually reserved, was especially joyful as it is his second exhibition, and coincides with Calypso History Month. The exhibition enjoys the full support of the Trinidad Unified Calypsonians Organisation (Tuco) North Zone and Central Executive.
Bannister has also given the paintings some interesting names. In the Pan Culture category there are paintings called Final Night, Panology and Absolute Pan. The standout piece in that category is Play Yourself which successfully captures the excitement and thrill of pan enthusiasts.
In Calypso Culture, Bannister focuses on portraits of prominent calypsonians like Brother Superior, Skatie, Brian London and Regeneration Now. There are also paintings of elements of traditional Carnival like stickfight and canboulay.
He doesn’t leave out the ritual of throwing toilet paper during the Calypso Monarch semis in Skinner Park and depicts this in the piece called Acid Test. My favourite piece in the category called Scenery is Lady Chancellor, where Bannister regularly exercises.
Remember When is an exciting segment of the exhibition, with pieces like Wash Day, the good old Papa Bois and Marble Pitching among others. Prominent cricketer and record-breaker Brian Lara heads the list of sports paintings and a must-see is the dramatic piece called Run Out where cricketer Ridley Jacob looks as if he is almost eating the turf. My Love Story runs at Nalis until October 20.