The art of Winslow Craig

By Alim Hosein

Winslow Craig’s work, currently on display at Castellani House, is ample proof of his genius, even though it shows only a part of his many creations. Craig is like one of the creatures from mythology, who arrive fully-formed and ready to do their job on earth. He first came to notice in 1989, when he graduated from the E R Burrowes School of Art. His graduation piece, Discovery, was a large, free-standing wooden sculpture which was so good that it was immediately purchased for the National Collection.

At the time that Craig came into public notice, Guyanese sculpture was ably sustained by the works of Desmond Ali, the Lokono artists – especially Ossie Hussein, and the Main Street artists such as Ras Iah and the late Marvin Phillips. All of these were workers in wood, and each of them added a particular flavor to Guyanese art. Ali’s large hardwood pieces reflected themes of independence, resistance, conquest and liberation. Hussein’s shape-shifting pieces done in exotic woods added a strange, new dimension to our art. The Main Street artists continued the free form style of sculpture which had blossomed in the 1980s. Craig arrived into this mix with no immediate precedents. His art was an entirely different sculpture. ….