Tiana Anglin takes us behind the scenes of the Sabina Park Murals

Tiana Anglin at the beginning stages of her George Headley mural; the first of her contributions to the Sabina Park mural project. (Photo Deandra Young Sang)

Artist, and small business owner, Tiana Anglin is collaborating with the Ministry of Culture, Gender, Entertainment, and Sport to bring awareness to cricket’s greatest legends by way of portrait murals. The Sabina park murals are a part of the Ministry’s Jamaica Creative: Paint Up Yuh Creative Space project.

Anglin revealed that creating the portraits is no superficial feat as the aim is to capture the image, personality, and lives of the cricketers to be observed and admired by the public.

“The ministry wanted to bring awareness to the sport of cricket and our cricket legends to a new generation through portrait murals. As a team, we wanted to see how best we could highlight the personalities of the cricketers. So everything was thought out and researched from the studies of their heads, uniforms, the lives of the cricketers, and the symbols used,” she told BUZZ.

“One of the concepts from the studio (Studio 174) was to add depth to the experience of these portraits by incorporating adinkra symbols,” she said.

Adinkra are symbols from Ghana used to represent concepts.

“We matched these symbols to the characters of the cricketers and made it more of an educational experience for all. We wanted something that would connect us to our cultural past.” she continued.

Anglin describes her experience working with the Ministry as a “great marriage” which entailed learning on both sides of the fence.

Studio 174

“They supported the vision and what we brought to the table,” she said.

This is not Anglin’s first time embarking on such a project. Studio 174, an Arts Academy, non-profit organisation based in Downtown Kingston had approached her in the past for other significant mural projects which entailed commemorating the Windrush generation and Jamaican icon, Louise Bennett-Coverley.

Anglin’s journey with art, however, began many, many years earlier.

She said, “I’ve been practicing art for the majority of my life, as long as I’ve known myself. I started, like any child, doing small-scale portrait drawings of my parents, friends, favourite celebrities, and characters. This was fostered by my teachers in prep school who encouraged my interest in art by assigning me with art-related projects to do for the classroom.”

According to Anglin, her experience in college cemented her “need to paint”. It was her introduction to working in an actual studio space at a large scale, and dedicating most of her time to honing her skills, and “learning [art’s] history, and being introduced to various artists, styles and theories of art.” She noted that her appreciation for art grew further as a result, particularly as it relates to painting.

“I became more interested not only in creating, but in learning more about my culture and that of others, and how this has played a role in the evolution of art,” she said.

Tiana Anglin’s first four murals in progress, depicting cricket legends, George Headley, Allan Rae, Alf Valentine, and Jackie Hendriks.

For Anglin, art is meant to invoke happiness in others. Something she hopes to achieve with her recent work on the Sabina Park murals. She also shared that her view of art and its virtues were things imparted from her lessons at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.

She said, “While studying, I came to understand varying theories and philosophies of art, but at the end of it all, the point that stood out to me the most, or at least my interpretation after having studied all these theories is that there is no right nor wrong, good nor bad art.”

“I’ve been practicing art for the majority of my life, as long as I’ve known myself.”

— Anglin

“Being in a diverse, sometimes cluttering environment and absorbing so many different perspectives and bits of information also showed me the need to maintain purity in my output, though that need and desire have both always been implicit,” she added.

Always looking to grow as an artist and creator, Anglin branched out in 2020, to create her ceramics business, Earthenware by Tiana Anglin, a homeware brand specialising in creating “sophisticated” and “functional art for the home”.

She’s been keeping busy there as well, saying “I’m always gaining inspiration from the things around me and places. In the coming months, you can look forward to new limited pieces and designs. You can also look forward to getting your hands on Earthenware in new locations.”