Tomley Roberts

Tomley Roberts, artist extraodinaire, continues to articulate colour  and texture  to re-create “Edenic” simplicity on canvas. With smooth, flawless strokes, he produces a creative climax of paint, form, light and shape. His passionate embrace of brush and paint demonstrates true mastery of form and vibrancy in unique and  revolutionary pieces. It is as if Roberts has discovered the secret of life-giving power that translates the formlessness and void of the distant and forgotten into distinct, sharply captivating treasures. His pieces clearly  unleash his talent. They are more than a nostalgic affair with the past; they are a resurgence of our culture that revitalises our historic experience. Roberts has been  a solitary echo that consistently trumpets  for the development of visual arts in Tobago.


He was the first President of the Tobago Visual Arts Association which was established in 2011 and has curated  several exhibitions,  including the  Secondary Schools wire craft exhibition and Carnival exhibitions, just to name a few and has served on various curatorial committees in Trinidad and Tobago. He  also served as curatorial trainee at  the National Museum and Art Gallery. Roberts explores the rich cultural heritage of the Caribbean people in his work. He paints in a heavily textural but realistic genre and has been painting for over twenty years.
Roberts’ formative years were nurtured through self-taught expression. His artistic ambitions propelled him to persevere and as such he received additional training at the University of the West Indies. In fact, he gives much credit to one of his lecturers, Mr Ainsworth Ovid  for his tutoring in experimental painting, the foundations of which are emblematic signatures in Roberts, present works. He has been influenced by Edward Hernandez, Vel Lewis locally and masters of the Renaissance and artists of African traditions. He is mentored locally by artist Chief LeRoy Clarke, with whom he has developed a relationship that can  be described as father and son.
 
Roberts has been an artistic educator for over fourteen years and has distinguished himself as an innovator and mentor. He has developed the Speyside High School Art Appreciation Week, an event that sets the stage for artistic education in the global community. It features suspension of formal classes for one week and promotes training to over four hundred students in techniques ranging from painting, sculpture, batik, mehndi, pottery etc. The mentorship he has provided has yielded the top student in the Caribbean for printmaking, Tobago’s very own Hasani Beckles from Charlotteville. Another example of his tutelage was recently viewed when one of his students, Toukoma Charles of Speyside High School,  won Tobago’s most prestigious  art completion: “The Office of the Chief Secretary’s Art Competition “.   He jointly coordinated a European tour to Italy and Rome to directly expose Tobago students to the global artistic scenarios.    Many of his paintings are in private collections throughout the Caribbean, U.S.A and other parts of the world. His work has been featured in Trinidad and Tobago, showcased in Suriname and is gaining a foothold in the American market. Roberts continuously pursues artistic improvement and is poised to make a dynamic impact in the global artistic community.