During the lock down of 2020, all tourism ceased in Barbados. Flights were canceled and citizens were legally confined to their homes, as protection mandated by Government to protect the population from the spread of COVID.
It was a very quiet, introspective time; in many respects the concept of the Window of Hope started from the perspective of a “Portal Window” to another, better World. For me, it felt as if the world was ending. Our income had ceased. Everything was looking as if it would fall apart, and the world for us at the Flower Forest was about to end.
I consoled myself with the making of the portal, a window whereby you could walk through and find yourself on the other side of whatever your troubles may have been. It was a juvenile, boyish, unbaked concept, such as it started, borne out of the depression the lock down created.
Very early mornings were the best for tiling. The sculpture is on the west side of the garden, and the rising sun stayed behind the hills and in the east until 10 o’clock or so. Sometimes the frenzy of the project took me over and I worked all the way until hunger drove me home for lunch. I became quite well cooked by the sun and ignored it.
As the mosaic went up the wall a scaffold was used, and I invited my 12 year old son, Theo, to help me with the upper portions. Together we placed the tiles right up to the very tip top. This excited me and made me happy, to see that he was interested and was helpful.
As the mosaic finished and the grouting started I was filled with a sense of pride and somehow felt more completed, more hopeful, that life and things in general would be ok as time went on.
As the window finished I decided that it could be less a depiction of the need to abandon a doomed world, but rather a window where one could look through, and see the beauty of things to come.
It was a self evident irony to know that what one looked at through the Window of Hope was exactly the same as what was right beside you. After all, the birds and the animals were getting on with their lives. Monkeys played, foraged and ate. It seemed to me that the only part of the world that thought it was doomed was humanity. And this thought brought me to a point of optimism.
I therefore was filled with hope, and knew the name of the window should be the Window of Hope at the Flower Forest.
The project took 2 months to complete, one for the foundations, the form work and the concrete casting; and one for the mosaic tiling. 12” tiles were made at Earthworks Pottery for the express purpose of being broken and tiled onto this project.