Thu | Sep 21, 2017

Carolyn Cooper | Cecil Cooper legacy nah done

Published:Sunday | September 18, 2016 | 9:00 AM

 

CHAKA-CHAKA SPELLING

 

June gawn, Cecil Cooper have one big show up a Olympia Gallery fi celebrate im 70th birthday. A fi im birthday. But a wi get di present dem. Fi see di whole heap a painting dem weh im collect up! Im show wi nuff a di work im do fi di last umpteen year a im life. Mi heart full. A one hell of a legacy!

Mi did write one column fi Cecil birthday weh Gleaner publish di Sunday before di show open. An mi put een sinting weh Cecil seh: "The worst thing that can happen to an artist is when you believe you have achieved your maximum potential. It is that thing that you are always chasing ... . Hopefully, you never catch it. So that gives you a reason to get up tomorrow."

Mi agree wid dat. An see weh mi write: "Give thanks for all the tomorrows of Cecil Cooper's unfinished legacy!" Old-time people seh man write, an God rub out. Mi coulda never know seh Cecil never have no whole heap a tomorrow lef. Im dead Thursday gone. Three month!

 

TINGS AN TIME

 

Lickle before Cecil Cooper dead, governor general keep one ceremony a King's House fi honour im fi "invaluable contribution to the arts". Im get "Order of Distinction, Commander Class". It well deserving. After di ceremony, Norma Harrack, one a fi wi next big artist, seh to mi, "Cecil taught me drawing." Shi proud so till. An if yu know anything bout di pot an plate an whole heap a odder art weh Norma mek, an di picture dem shi draw pon dem, yu done know seh shi can draw!

Mi no know wa mek wi no have no much respect fi teacher inna dem ya time. Mussi chruu nuff teacher nah get no big-big pay. A ongle money a run tings. One time, teacher a big-big job eena Jamaica. Cau old-time people did know seh knowledge ha fi pass on to pikni. An dem gi tanks fi teacher weh tek interest inna dem pikni an tek dem time fi mek di pikni dem learn.

Tings an time change. An wi have nuff teacher now weh no directly waan fi teach. Dem a dweet chruu dem can't do better. Mi fraid fi dem deh teacher. Dem nah do nutten fi encourage pikni fi learn. Di pikini dem deh pon dem own. Learn if dem waan. An if dem no waan, a fi dem bizniz dat. Wi ha fi find a way fi weed out dem deh wutliss teacher.

Cecil Cooper big legacy a no ongle di nuff painting dem weh im lef. A di whole heap a student dem like Norma Harrack weh im teach. An Norma shi a teach to. So a so it a go dong di line! A 30 year Cecil Cooper teach a Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Im start long before di Art an Music an Dance an Drama school dem name after Norman Manley wife. An im a good-good tiicha. Im tek interest eena im student dem. An dem rispek im. Dem naa figet we im du fi dem. African people have one proverb mi love: Yu no dead, dead, dead so til nobody no member yu. Cecil, wi nah figet yu!

 

PRAPA-PRAPA SPELIN

 

Juun gaan, Cecil Cooper av wan big shuo op a Olympia Gallery fi selibriet im 70th bortdie. A fi im bortdie. Bot a wi get di present dem. Fi si di uol iip a pientin dem we im kalek op! Im shuo wi nof a di wok im du fi di laas omtiin ier a im laif. Mi aat ful. A wan el af a legisi!

Mi did rait wan kalam fi Cecil bortdie we Gleaner poblish di Sonde bifuor di shuo uopn. An mi put iin sinting we Cecil se: "The worst thing that can happen to an artist is when you believe you have achieved your maximum potential. It is that thing that you are always chasing ... . Hopefully, you never catch it. So that gives you a reason to get up tomorrow".

Mi agrii wid dat. An si we mi rait: "Give thanks for all the tomorrows of Cecil Cooper's unfinished legacy!" Uol-taim piipl se man rait an Gad rob out. Mi kuda neva nuo se Cecil neva av no uol iip a tumara lef. Im ded Torsde gaan. Chrii mont!

 

TINGZ AN TAIM

 

Likl bifuor Cecil Cooper ded, Govana-Jineral kip wan serimani a King's House fi ana im fi "invaluable contribution to the arts". Im get "Order of Distinction, Commander Class". It wel disorvin. Aafta di serimani, Norma Harrack, wan a fi wi neks big aatis, se tu mi, "Cecil taught me drawing." Shi proud so til. An if yu nuo enting bout di pat an pliet an uol iip a ada aat we Norma mek, an di pikcha dem shi jraa pan dem, yu don nuo se shi kyahn jraa!

Mi no nuo wa mek wi no av no moch rispek fi tiicha ina dem ya taim. Mosi chruu nof tiicha naa get no big-big pie. A ongl moni a ron tingz. Wan taim, tiicha a big-big jab iina Jamieka. Kaa uol-taim piipl did nuo se nalij a fi paas aan tu pikni. An dem gi tankgs fi tiicha we tek inchres iina dem pikni an tek dem taim fi mek di pikni dem lorn.

Tingz an taim chienj. An wi av nof tiicha nou we no dairekli waahn fi tiich. Dem a dwiit chruu dem kyaahn du beta. Mi fried fi dem de tiicha. Dem naa du notn fi inkoriji pikni fi lorn. Di pikini dem de pan dem uon. Lorn if dem waahn. An if dem no waahn, a fi dem bizniz dat. Wi a fi fain a wie fi wiid out dem de wotlis tiicha.

Cecil Cooper big legisi a no ongl di nof pientin dem we im lef. A di uol iip a styuudent dem laik Norma Harrack we im tiich. An Norma shi a tiich tu. So a so it a go dong di lain! A torte ier Cecil Cooper tiich a Edna Manley College for the Visual and Performing Arts. Im staat lang bifuor di Aat an Myuuzik an Daans an Jraama skuul dem niem afta Norman Manley waif. An im a gud-gud tiicha. Im tek inchres iina im styuudent dem. An dem rispek im. Dem naa figet we im du fi dem. Afrikan piipl av wan pravorb mi lov: yu no ded, ded, ded so til nobadi no memba yu. Cecil, wi naa figet yu!

- Carolyn Cooper is a consultant on culture and development. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and karokupa@gmail.com.