I had a glorious last day in Gwada, because Rovélas was so gracious about letting me come back to take pictures of his studio. I got some terrific shots, both of his artworks and the ambiance of his studio space, in preparation of an interview I was preparing to do for Black Renaissance Noire journal published by NYU’s Institute for Africana Studies, and edited by Quincy.
Magnificient is the light there both inside and outside on his studio’s terrace with acacia trees, purple and red bougainvillea, red Chinese trellises, shaded clay tiled terrace, green forged iron gated entries, open kitchen/bar patio.
And his taste, the inside space of his atelier is flooded with light and furnished with pieces of this and that collected from who knows where. Several of his paintings hang on a bright yellow-green wall. Chinese bronze figurines are are placed here and there. A bookcase lines one wall and is stocked with an eclectic mix of poetry, art catalogues, novels, encyclopedias.
Other shelves in his office hold a self-portrait in water color, pictures of his Chinese ancestors, a photo of a younger him with his daughter, his 98 year old father, who he says is still “going strong!” Two high powered digital cameras rest beside his PC. We enjoyed some deep belly-laughs, a philosophical discussion of the state of the arts in Guadeloupe, drank too many ti-punches, and eventually, ate a succulent lunch of boudin (blood sausage), curried (colombo) beef, rice, and flan.
We stayed much too long, but it was so pleasant and delicious that we could hardly leave. We left finally, promising to return later in the evening to take him to the after-party for the FEMI festival for cinema at the beautiful mountainside home of designer Fabienne Chomaud, and husband, Jean-Marie Chomaud, an incredible architect who converted a decrepit old shack on stilts into the most gorgeous retreat in Canapé Verte, a commune at the foothills of the rain forest in Basse-Terre.