Series Spotlight - Vanita Comissiong
Vanita Comissiong was born of East Indian parents in Barbados in 1962 and was brought up on the island.
Her father had her horoscope read at the age of eight and was told that his daughter was going to be an artist. On learning this, every time he travelled he brought back felt-tipped pens and crayons for his daughter to inspire her career! Nevertheless, although she always enjoyed art, Vanita Comissiong in fact specialised in other subjects at school and later on entered a career in accounting.
She developed an interest in collecting artwork after her marriage in 1982, concentrating particularly in Haitian work, mainly because of the bright colours and figures which are such a feature of the Haitian style. She was thus inspired to try her own hand at painting and joined a local art group called The Newcomers, where she won several art competitions and national awards. What started as a hobby soon became a career and, by the 1990s, her paintings were being sold to collectors locally and around the world.
Thus encouraged, Vanita Comissiong enrolled on a fine art degree at a local college in 1994 and took up a post as a curator of a new art gallery on her graduation.
She paints in quick-drying colour-intense acrylic paints, and concentrates mainly on scenes of her home island, including carnival images and market subjects. Her work is both sold as original paintings and used for international magazines and books. Vanita Comissiong also runs her own art gallery on the island.