Canute Calliste, a self-taught painter from Carriacou, claimed to have been inspired at the age of nine by visions of a mermaid. He began painting shortly after and, although mermaids were a constant theme, he also portrayed the Grenadian way of life and Grenadian traditions.
A constant in his work was also his trademark commentaries: handwritten notes explaining his thoughts and themes that accompanied each of his paintings.
In 1980, ‘The Mermaid Wakes,’ was published, which was a coffee table book showcasing Calliste’s work. Now, Calliste’s paintings are featured in collections belonging to George Bush Senior and the Queen of England, to name a few.
Canute Caliste (deceased 2005) A living legend in Carriacou, this self taught painter was known for his violin playing and boat building. He painted the life around him in his own unique style, punctuating the naive scenes with handwritten descriptions. One of Canute’s 1997 works on the Grenada revolution, forms part of the GAC’s Permanent Collection – in his own words: Killing Murice Bishop on Forth Rupurt in St Georges. His paintings were featured in the book ‘The Mermaid Wakes’ published in 1989; later made into an Off-Broadway play. See the New York Times review.http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D0CE7DE173FF936A15751C0A967958260