Caribbean heritage provides art inspiration

12 June 2023

Tynesha Fontaine has drawn on her personal experiences for her series of watercolour paintings

A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student’s exploration of her Caribbean culture and heritage within Preston has been the inspiration for her art work which is now on public display.

Tynesha Fontaine, a final year BA (Hons) Fine Art student, has used her family photo albums to create a series of watercolour paintings.

The 22-year-old said: “As a mixed white British and black Caribbean female, I have often struggled fitting in, and art is my escapism.

“When I began University, it was in the midst of Covid-19 and the Black Lives Matters movement which deeply inspired my art at the time. My work has gradually progressed from angry protest pieces to a more personal project titled Black Beauty. It is a self-reflection of my own family pride and a protest for more visibility for black individuals and black history within a museum and gallery setting. Too often there is a lack of it, as well as a focus upon slavery and colonisation rather than our heritage culture and beliefs.”

Tynesha’s work will be display at UCLan’s free Degree Show 2023, which is taking place across three buildings on the Preston Campus until 26 June.

"As a mixed white British and black Caribbean female, I have often struggled fitting in, and art is my escapism"

Tynesha Fontaine

The former Our Lady’s Catholic High School and Cardinal Newman College pupil said: “I am extremely proud to be able to showcase my work to the public and I want my work to spark discussion about Caribbean culture and the black community in a positive light through our own viewpoint.

“As an artist, I believe it is important to share your thoughts, opinions and values through your practice and stand for what you believe in and with my degree show that is what I have aimed to achieve.”

Tynesha, who has applied to study on UCLan’s MA Fine Art course and would like to move into teaching, added: “Being able to create and learn is my passion and the fine art course has given me the opportunity to do that to the fullest.”

At UCLan’s Degree Show 2023, design, fashion and media undergraduates’ work will be exhibited in Victoria Building, in Hanover Building the creations from fine art, photography and foundation level art, design and media students will be displayed while the final year projects of architecture students can be seen in the Engineering Innovation Centre.

Tynesha Fontaine
Tynesha Fontaine