Romelinda Maldonado

Breeze blocks
Fresh air coming through

Sun rays, breeze, good company, glimpses of the past, laughter, body movement; medicine. That walk in the Main Street, even though it looked like a ghost town, did me good. Here I got to gather my first materials for the production of my work; old tiles.

Fresh out of COVID jail and still dealing with post-covidness, I started off my Caribbean Linked journey filled with excitement and anxiety, but Caribbean Linked has been like breeze blocks; letting air through and keeping things cool. Bringing refreshment and nourishing me in order for me to proceed in my travels more energized, light and focused. In searching for answers regarding island identity and Caribbean ties, I’ve acquired this new fascination with my island’s past including its architecture. New curiosities and inspiration; gifts.

Justin’s mango
Sharing spaces

The canteen was a vibe. Watching how that Pica di Papaya got passed around back and forth…Cayman Islands, Mexico, Bahamas, Aruba, Guadeloupe.. It felt like a family reunion in the dining room. We shared rooms, food, time, laughter, words, stressful moments, thoughts, feelings, ideas; whole worlds. The residency is over at this point but I’m still roaming these spaces internally. Still archiving and digesting.

Sharing spaces like this is something that I’m not that familiar with. Studio rooming and late night working sessions triggered interesting talks and depth that fuel your thinking and your whole being for that matter. I felt a sense of belonging. Those talks about our similarities and differences made (stronger) connections and created bonds. It was also beautiful and inspiring to see from up close how my fellow artists go about their work, their process and drive, how they put their energy and heart into their work.

Sun dried work and laughter
Caribbean warmth (Katherine pops instantly into my mind)

Welcoming, joyful, heartfelt. Dancing and having fun together is one thing, but being there for and helping others with their work as if it was your own, that’s love.

I didn’t get to travel but I did have a  “home away from home” feeling while being at home (if that makes sense). Visiting Osaira Muyale’s studio, Laura de Vogel’s exhibition and museums was really refreshing and inspiring. I came back home, to myself, renewed.

Mother Caribbean and her different children, each with their own personality and traits. Now I see the importance of sharing and exchange, of feeling and being understood and the magic that happens when we connect…priceless. Caribbean Linked has been such a rich experience and important point in my life and art practice. It has made me more aware of my choices and has lit my desire for growth.

I’m grateful and truly blessed for being part of this and I want to thank each and everyone of you for this amazing experience, Caribbean Linked VI.

Thank you Caribbean Linked for cultivating love across the ocean.

Brasa cu sunchi,

Romy

SUAAVEEE
Photo credit: Katherine
Party Bus: Chrislene’s van
Simulation: Me