Anything With Nothing: T. Earl Witter

T. Earl Witter and the members of the Rastafarian Community Development Movement

T. Earl Witter and the members of the Rastafarian Community Development Movement

T. Earl Witter is one of the ten artists in the Anything with Nothing exhibition. Here is a short feature on his work:

T. Earl Witter is the lead artist in a group called the Rastafarian Community Development Movement based in Parade Gardens. He has stopped painting memorial murals due to police pressure and a desire to present more positive role models and show his Rastafarian faith. He has done numerous commissions including for companies such as Digicel and the Catholic Church. For the exhibition he has painted portraits of Miss Lou and Bob Marley, a Rasta on a Donkey and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, a work depicting Selassie and three Rastafarian elders.

Witter and his collaborator Cebert told us:

“We have been painting all our life. We teamed up through the Rastafari Movement you know – we came together and start doing Rasta work – mainly Rasta mural and things. Always been fond of art, but in our time we never had much access to art school… We just paint on our own. We get good support from the community – most of the time the little ladies sponsor it, sponsor us… Sometime we do work for practically for nothing you know, ‘cause those people don’t really have any money but they still want the work so we just do it. They see the work and they love it. Our community is an impoverished community, nothing nah really gwaan. But people say they want something so we do it for them. It’s important to them. Why? It uplift their spirit in the ghetto parts to see the good work that can be done by us as Rasta.… Sometime you do some work and it’s like it’s only you or certain people in higher terms of spirituality that will understand what’s really going on.”