Lattecha's brushstrokes exude colours of life
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Despite being the victim of four robberies, self-taught artist and poet, Lattecha Willocks, is intent on showing a beautiful calm in her paintings that are bursting with colourful and distinctive expressions of life and feminism.
"We need no reminders of the social issues of the day. What we need is a respite, an antidote to them. I paint because I must. I don't have formal training. I think that the gift can be taken away if I'm not careful," she emphasised.
Willocks' work arrests the imagination and offers an unmatched serenity at each glance and she is undaunted in her efforts to showcase the beauty and the good that life has to offer.
Lattecha, who has a full-time job as a human resource manager, works in the day and paints by night.
Painting is not exactly an inexpensive hobby, Willocks said.
"There are avenues I am exploring that will help to grow my art as a business venture. I am wise to the realities of the economy we live in. We all have some sort of service to offer, and many of us have creative talents that can only serve to collectively enrich us as a people."
While other artists choose to focus on the dark, thought-provoking social commentary-type of artistic depiction, Lattecha explains that she prefers to paint images of hope, peace, beauty, and life.
"I choose to see the beauty in life - maybe the life that was - and I choose to paint that. We do not need to be reminded about the horrors of everyday life. Almost all of the beauty and innocence have been squeezed out of our lives these days, so I paint the little that's left," she said.
Much of her work embodies a bold and strong feminist depiction. This, she states, is due to the fact that she is surrounded by some strong, powerful, and charismatic women in her family - mother, grandmother, sister - and they have informed the way she views womanhood.
"I call the type of art I create SpaArt, which is a combination of the words 'spa' and 'art' because of the feeling of bliss I hope it evokes," she explained.
"I saw that feeling of bliss on the face of every visitor to my booth the other day at the (Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce) Expo 2011, and this is how the art I create might, just might, help to change how people see the world around them, by giving them a moment of peace."