Greta Michelle Joachim
GretaMichelle Joachim began her formal journey as an artist as a young adult, but credits her love of art to her grandmother who taught her to crotchet and weave and love cooking as a child. She has always been fascinated with colour and the magic that occurs with light and colour on the roadways she travelled, and longed to capture that experience on a canvas. Through an especially emotional time she found herself with the opportunity to paint and learn and from there, there was no turning back.
She is largely self- taught; having focused her love of the written word toward art books and biographies on past artists- both local and international. She discovered local artist Jackie Hinkson and Monet and Cezanne in her literary travels and fell in love with the Impressionists and Post- Impressionists and oils.
Ms. Joachim has been painting since 1998 and teaching the Visual Arts at Southern Academy of SDA in La Romaine, from then. She believes that art is not just pretty but it is also spiritual and can be therapeutic and seeks to instill in her students an appreciation for the arts and its ability to heal.
From January 2012, Ms. Joachim branched into a new phase of her artistic journey, when she took Ceramics I at the University of the West Indies during the reading for her second degree in Fine Arts. She was attracted to clay very early in her life and this attraction took on new scope with the introduction of the potter’s wheel. She discovered an affinity and love for clay and its ability to be pliant and malleable yet strong, beautiful and functional. Since then she has spent most of her artistic experience learning about this material and its possibilities.
When asked why she focuses on functional ware instead of sculptural she responds: “I remember growing up with home cooked meals and everyone sitting at the table for Sunday lunch, using the ‘good’ china. and even during the week. Now things have changed and more often people eat out and spend seventy percent of the time on their cells than looking at each other and being in the moment. The tradition of a home-cooked meal with family seems to be dying. Through the making of functional ware I hope to allow you to regain that one moment; that one experience of just sitting down to a meal or a cup of tea or sharing a coffee over the paper. Through my ware I intend to elevate the experience of eating and drinking through the use of handmade.”
Ms. Joachim has taken part in several group exhibitions, with favourable reviews locally and internationally. Her work can be found in galleries and private collections at home and abroad.
Art is an integral part of her life and she translates everything she does into something artistic.
My work is largely in clay, (although I sometimes paint in oils. My paintings range from figurative to landscapes and seascapes, showcasing the images that I experience daily in my island home of Trinidad and Tobago).
Clay is an extension of my exploration of nature and a link to my grandmother who taught me to appreciate art. Through clay, I am intimately linked to the earth. It is a spiritual journey as well as a physical one. I touch and form the clay into something functional and beautiful; artistic and abstract but in doing so, I catch a glimpse of the formation of character and maturity that God performs in my life.
My ceramic pieces are textured. I enjoy how clay accepts and even welcomes texture. Leaves, stone, wood, shells and other natural elements, all play a part in the formation of my pieces. My latest body of work is inspired by and pays homage to the love of the sea which was instilled in me from a child, collecting shells with my grandmother and watching her use those shells as part of her own decorative work. The surface of the work, as well as the clay body, is manipulated with additives which influence shape and character. Glazes and soda from the firing work in tandem to further enhance the form. This serves to elevate a simple functional form into a piece of art that tells a story or provokes a conversation.
Courses in values and colour theory at: Ian Attongs School of Art
Two semesters at Creative Arts Centre, University of the West Indies, St Augustine
BA History and Literature UWI St Augustine
BA special Fine Arts UWI St Augustine with focus on ceramics
1999, 2003, 2005 The Southern Art Gallery- group shows
2007, 2008 Voix an Art Gallery- group show
2008 Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago- group show
March 2011 Women and Art Exhibition, hosted by the National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago
May, 2011 Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago- group show
November, 2012 University of the West Indies Department of Visual Arts, group show
November 2015 Bunty O’Connor- Open House Exhibition
May 2014 University of the West Indies Department of Creative and Festival Arts, Final Year Exhibition
September 2016 University of North Florida International Ceramic Exhibition
May 2017 Plough Gallery, Tifton Georgia Tea: the Ritual and Art -International group Exhibition
August 2017 Women In Art group Show “Threads”
November 2017 Bunty O’Connor Open Studio
December 2017 The Artisan Collective Exclusive Pop-Up
October 2018 “Faces and Figures”– a group exhibition
November 2018 Bunty O’Connor Open Studio
August 2019 “Lived In” contemporary exhibition NAPA, Port of Spain for Carifesta XIV
October 2020, “Cup the Intimate Object XVI” Group exhibition at Charlie Cummings Gallery, Florida.
October 2021, “Cup the Intimate Object XVII” Group exhibition at Charlie Cummings Gallery, Jacksonville Florida.
Women in Art Trinidad & Tobago
Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago
Plein Aire Picassos
International Plein Aire Painters Organization
Kaabo Clay Collective
Trinidad and Tobago Artist Registry
ARC the Magazine
Women in Art Trinidad and Tobago award for outstanding work in pottery.