A collection of Mexican folk art on the common theme of the sun has opened at the UWI Museum for a brief run. The exhibition, Mexican Suns, a collaboration between the UWI and the Mexican Embassy, is a tribute to Mexican son Octavio Paz, poet, philosopher and diplomat and Mexico’s sole Nobel Laureate for literature.
The 56 pieces of ceramic, clay, plaster, glass and metal, coconut husk, papier mache, wood and embroidered pieces have been collected by Mexican Ambassador Gerardo Lozano. He noted, at a launch on April 24: “Mexicans see themselves as the people of the sun and Octavio Paz is no exception.” 2014 is the centenary of Paz’s birth.
Speakers at the launch ceremony included University of the West Indies (UWI) Professor Emeritus Patrick Bryan who noted that he came to Paz not from the perspective of a literary person but from that of a historian. Prof Bryan gave a brief analysis of the poet’s development, starting with his fascination with the Mexican Revolution of the nineteen teens, which was underway at the time of his own birth in 1914. He also discussed Paz delving into the dualities of the Mexican character.
Readers of Paz’s famous poems, in Spanish and English, included Ambassador Vincente Montemayor, who contended that the poetry of Paz is not understandable to the mind…but rather it reaches out to the heart! He stated that Paz, and famous Latin American novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez who died this month, did not really die, they simply passed into immortality.
Museum Curator Suzanne Francis-Brown read the culminating stanzas of Paz’s famous poem Sun Stone, which has been threaded through the museum exhibition. The 1957 poem’s 584 lines play on the 584 days of the famous Aztec calendar.
The Mexican Suns exhibition, co-coordinated by Deputy Head of the Mexican Embassy, Guadalupe Sanchez, is initially programmed to run only until May 2.