Suelin Low Chew Tung gives us a personal tour of Grenada
Born and bred in Trinidad, artist and writer Suelin Low Chew Tung moved to Grenada in 1988, and has become a mover and shaker in the art scene of her adopted home.
As a Caribbean person of mixed heritage — Chinese, African, and Iberian — Low Chew Tung makes artworks that revolve around questions of identity, culture, history, and tradition, and take the form of mixed media painting, drawings, and collages. She also illustrates children’s books.
A lover of travel, Low Chew Tung has participated in artist’s residencies all over the world, where she has successfully introduced Grenadian art and culture to broader audiences. One particular trip proved life-changing: in 2013, on a residency in Haiti, Low Chew Tung met the Haitian artist Jean Renel Pierre Louis (a.k.a. Prensnelo). Inspired to start her own residency programme in Grenada, Low Chew Tung invited Prensnelo, who ended up extending his stay — and the pair were married in July 2014.
Together they now run San Souci Arts Studio (SSAS), which provides learning space, a gallery, and self-directed artists’ residencies, ranging in length from two weeks to a month. These residencies help promote transnational creative exchanges, and allow visiting artists time to undertake new work in visual arts and writing.
In her spare time, Low Chew Tung attempts to grow pakchoi, and enjoys getting together with her family (all thirty of them) for marathon lunches.
Here’s her personal tour of Grenada.
Start with a swim
“I prefer to swim at Morne Rouge — the smaller bay is close to the world-famous Grand Anse, but I prefer its serenity for recharging.
“Other beaches I love: La Sagesse, with its black sand, and Paradise Beach in Carriacou.”
“For a day-trip adventure, I recommend hashing with the Hash House Harriers on Saturdays. It’s a cross-country run-walk that offers many opportunities for photos of flora, fauna, hidden treasures, and far-flung places, as well of people falling into rivers and streams — and, at the end of the course, drinking your fill of beer at a village rumshop. I’ve done this trek three times!
“For the not-so-athletic: a tour of our three or four chocolate factories, and the few ad hoc parish museums, including the one at the Westerhall rum distillery — with tastings!”
“The best place to buy a special Grenadian gift is Art Fabrik on Young Street, in St George’s. Or, for chocoholics, there’s the Grenada House of Chocolate across the street.
“To see and buy contemporary art, Art Upstairs Gallery, the Susan Mains Gallery, and the Grenada Arts Council all offer shows and events. And of course my studio, the Sans Souci Arts Studio, is where people can see and buy my own work.”
“For a simple lunch, try the special soup from Chopstix in Grand Anse. Belmont Estate does a fantastic buffet, and Good Food in Grenville makes a great take-away oil down.
“My favourites for a sumptuous dinner: Le Phare Bleu, Le Chateau, and Coconut Beach restaurants.”
Time to unwind
“When I had a car, my favourite way to de-stress was to just drive all around the island, stopping to take photos, and buy a drink from the area rumshop — lots of those! I found that refreshed my spirit and helped me to reconnect with my island.
“These days I take the local bus to Grand Etang Forest Reserve, to sit by the lake or walk in the rainforest, then have tea with my sister, who lives nearby. She raises chickens, rabbits, and goats, while her husband makes artisanal bread baked in a wood-burning oven that they both designed and built.
“When I’m really in need of a total break, I take the ferry to Carriacou.”
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