Michelle Schleider

Pride of Barbados, 2020
Oil on Linen
40 x 30 x 1.50 in
Before the lockdown, I had just started a new series of paintings with luggage and travel as the central theme. I had no idea how symbolic this would feel as time went by and travel restrictions were put in place. While we spend more time at home, this painting represents a place that many of us have imagined ourselves - that faraway island with sandy beaches, and a bright blue ocean as far as the eye can see.

Surrounding the 1940’s vintage American Tourister luggage is the national flower of Barbados, aptly named, “Pride of Barbados”. In the 18th century, the flowers were artfully created in paper by history’s first collage artist, Mary Delaney. My rendition of those flowers, in oil paint, is an homage to the artist’s original work. Delaney never made it to Barbados in her lifetime, and I have never been there either, but this pandemic has given me the gumption to add this destination to my bucket list of places to see and appreciate as soon as it ends.