Monday, April 15, 2024

Chattel houses here to stay


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CHATTEL houses have formed part of the architectural landscape of Barbados for centuries. Despite the increase in much larger concrete houses, chattel houses continue to make their mark and will forever be written in the annals of Barbados’ history.

Interestingly, almost every amateur or professional artist has painted his or her version of the chattel house.

In the eyes of some artists, these houses so represent the Barbados of yesterday that they paint chattel houses as derelict wooden structures needing to be demolished or restored. To others, versions of the extended chattel house with “add-ons”, including concrete bathrooms, toilet and an upper level floor, told stories of the wealth of some owners in days gone by.

No matter what form the chattel houses take, one thing is certain: they are a part of  our past, our present and will be part of our future for a long time, whether it is due to the strokes of a paintbrush in the hands of a skilled artist or the works of a sculptor or a potter.

Undoubtedly, these paintings bring home that reality. (CCH)




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