Grange, Marleys lead tributes to Neville Garrick
The Bob Marley Foundation and Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange have led tributes to graphic artist and visual designer extraordinaire Neville Garrick, whose friendship with Bob Marley positioned him as a keeper of the artiste’s legacy.
Garrick, 73, was renowned for his extraordinary contributions to the world of music and art and was most recognised for his award-winning work as art director for Bob Marley, creating timeless artwork covers and designs that are still being recognised globally today. He was the first executive director of the Bob Marley Foundation, and his contributions extended beyond art as he co-produced the 1992 documentary Time Will Tell, which featured rare insights from Bob Marley.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange, in paying tribute to Garrick noted that “Jamaica is richer for your contribution to our entertainment and culture”.
Minister Grange said, “Neville’s career in entertainment and culture spanned 50 years with some of his visible, admirable accomplishments being his designs of music album covers, posters, logos, and performance stages. He was considered a trailblazer in the craft of graphic design in Jamaica. Neville gained fame designing the sleeves of several of Bob’s albums, the first time that a local graphic artist was designing album covers for an international artiste. My deepest sympathy to his three children, Christopher, Naomi and Nesta, to his grandchildren, to his brother Derek, his former wife and close friend Colette, other family members, relatives, colleagues, and friends.”
Following Garrick’s death on Tuesday night, a post on the Bob Marley Foundation Instagram page stated: “We are saddened by the passing of Neville Garrick. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. This brilliant and creative artist created many memorable album covers, logos, and works of art for Bob Marley and The Wailers. He often travelled with Bob and remained a close and supportive friend of the Marley family for many decades. Neville, we will miss your lighthearted energy. One Love.”
Bob Marley’s eldest son, Ziggy, also paid tribute to a man who he has known since he was little boy.
“Brother @nevillegarrick spent the last year with us from England to Jamaica working on his good friend @bobmarley biopic. His energy was high his affect was positive advising the director and the whole production. He wanted to make sure it was done right. He was the light of the production everyone loved hearing his stories and heeding his insights. Without him it could not have been done. It was a continuation of the work he did for my father and the strong friendship they had with each other,” Ziggy said in the social media post.
He continued: “I’ve known Neville since I was a little boy and grew up with him around, to have spent these moments with him working on @onelovemovie meant more to me than can be explained at this time. Having my father’s close friend around was a special experience and knowing we became good friends is the bonus. nuff love to his children and friends we can truly and happily say his legacy will live on. Thank you Garrick. JAH”
Cedella Marley simply said, “Fly away home Uncle Neville.”
Garrick’s family in a release on Wednesday morning, noted that her father “passed away peacefully surrounded by family on the night of Tuesday, November 14, in California, after a very brief, but brave fight with cancer”.
Neville Garrick’s journey through a remarkable 50-year art career left an indelible mark on the realm of music album covers, posters, logos, and staging designs. His artistic journey began at Kingston College and later took him to the University of California at Los Angeles on a soccer scholarship.
His journey also included his role as the leader in lighting and set direction for Reggae Sunsplash, an event celebrated as “the biggest reggae festival in the history of the world”. In 1999, he published A Rasta’s Pilgrimage - Ethiopian Faces and Places, a photographic chronicle of his two-month exploration of the sacred land from a Rastafarian perspective.
Garrick’s lifelong dedication to the arts was duly recognised when on August 6, 2005, he accepted the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence and in 2022, the Jamaica Reggae Industry Association presented him with the Gregory Isaacs Foundation Award for Album Design.