Three more icons from Trinidad and Tobago have been immortalised with wax figures at the Caribbean Wax Museum in Barbados.
The figures of Calypso Rose, David Rudder and Hazel Scott were unveiled on Thursday night at the Sagicor School of Business and Management at Cave Hill, Barbados.
Arthur Edwards, sculptor and co-director of the museum said they are offering something that keeps our icons before the public forever.
“We honour people; that is what we do. We are in the business of offering them perpetuity, a way that they will never be forgotten. A moment in time in three dimensions, I don’t think you can beat,” he said.
“Of course in the Caribbean, we honour people in different ways…you put plaques on walls and rename buildings, we do everything which probably does make sense in a way but after those people pass on the meaning passes on because the name attached to a building no longer becomes the name of the person it becomes the name of a building, a geographical location so the honour is dead when the person passes on. We are offering something that keeps these people before the public forever. Three-dimensional art does that,” he added.
Edwards, who runs the museum with his wife Frances Ross, appealed for support from regional Governments calling specifically on public policy design people to include them in the conversation.
Edwards came under criticism last year after he unveiled a sculpture of renowned calypsonian The Mighty Sparrow.
Addressing the controversy, which he said was the fault of a badly composed photo, he said they made sure they are covering all bases this time around with proper lighting.
“We will take lashes tomorrow, we know it, but my shoulders broad,” he said.
John King, Barbados’ Minister of Creative Economy, Culture and Sports, said in his address that institutions like the Caribbean Wax Museum act as vehicles to encourage and renew our interest in culture and what it means to our societies.
“Creating an imagery of persons we love and look up to can positively impact on our lives and emotions and it is through these type of institutions our stories are told,” he said.
He said the three West Indian icons honoured have impacted our lives in one way or another. He said they championed the causes of social injustice, racial discrimination and sexism through their works.
“They brought awareness to social issues as well as Caribbean pride and togetherness,” he said.
The three sculptures were shown positioned next to each other with Scott’s statue positioned sitting at a piano.
Speaking via Zoom, David Rudder said not in his wildest dreams did he ever think he would be sharing a stage with Calypso Rose and Scott. He said he is standing with two women who broke the glass ceiling.
Speaking on behalf of Calypso Rose, her manager Lorraine O’Connor revealed that the 81-year-old singer recently did knee replacement surgery and is recuperating. She, however, conveyed Rose’s gratitude for the honour.
Adam Clayton Powell III, son of the late Scott, said many are discovering his mother through the internet and videos on YouTube. He said she is more famous today than when she was the highest-paid black woman in Hollywood in her heyday.
Scott was a Trinidadian-born jazz and classical pianist, singer, and actor credited for ensuring black actresses in Hollywood were given respectable roles. She was the first black entertainer to host her own show and appeared in five films.
Powell said a book The Women Who Invented Television credited his mother as one of four women who invented television. He said she invented the television variety show that laid the blueprint for all subsequent shows of that nature.
He said another children’s book details her life as an activist.
He said: “She is becoming more known now than anytime in recent years