|Skype screenshot from virtual Artists Talk with Petrine's Cornell Uni. course., 2006. Source Panmedia.com|
Yesterday, I received the news that Petrine Archer-Straw had passed. This news dis take me by surprise. My connection with Petrine was mainly as a mentor for my artistic and academic work. Throughout this period she showed great generosity in encouraging my artistic practice, academic pursuits and especially this blog. I first met Petrine when I had my final exams at Edna Manley College in Kingston. She was one of the examiners of my final year Painting Show. I remember her for insistence that I shouldn't settle for the easy pathways in my work.
Later on I had the chance to work with Petrine on her website Diaspora Dialogs by providing discussions and artist talks with her course at Cornell University. Throughout that time my interaction with Petrine as a young artist made me feel that there was something of importance in my work. When I last connected with her it was to ask her to be an external supervisor for my doctoral thesis in Japan. For administrative reasons this didn't work but she allowed me access to her writings to help guide the way for me. It therefore hits me with the weight of the news that one day after handing in said thesis that there will be no more chances to connect with Petrine.
I want to therefore thank you Petrine for encouraging and supporting me in my endeavors. I also want to thank you for contributing so much to the arts and understanding of culture.