Artist Valerie Belgrave dies

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Valerie Belgrave, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s finest artistic figures, has died.

Belgrave wrote the acclaimed Ti Marie, Dance the Water and other novels and was an accomplished and prolific painter and batik designer.

A graduate in painting and literature from Canada’s Sir George Williams University (now Concordia), Belgrave also wrote a play and composed music.

In 2011, she launched a photo memoir called Art for the People. In 2007 she wrote the children’s book Adventures of the Magic Steelpan.

The university was the source of social protests in 1970 and this is said to have influenced Belgrave’s activism and her artistic work. She held several one-person exhibitions of her work. She was seen as an innovator.

She was married to Ian “Teddy” Belgrave, who was a prime mover in trade unionism and the steel band movement. He was a pioneering member of Birdsong steel band.

He died in July 2013.

No funeral plans have yet been announced for Valerie Belgrave.

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