Tue | Jan 19, 2021

Toots honoured at Kingston Creative mural presentation on Water Lane

Published:Sunday | November 29, 2020 | 12:07 AMKrysta Anderson - Staff Reporter

Joshua Solas (right) and co-painter Anna-Lisa Guthrie, stand by their mural dedicated to late Toots and the Maytals lead singer, Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. The mural was a group effort with Solas, Guthrie, Jaime Grandison, David Francis and Jason Goss
Joshua Solas (right) and co-painter Anna-Lisa Guthrie, stand by their mural dedicated to late Toots and the Maytals lead singer, Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert. The mural was a group effort with Solas, Guthrie, Jaime Grandison, David Francis and Jason Goss coming together to complete.

54-46 That’s my Number, Pressure Drop, Funky Kingston, Bam Bam, Fever and Pomp and Pride. Those are only some of the songs embedded in the incredible mural of reggae legend, Frederick ‘Toots’ Hibbert, on Water Lane in downtown Kingston.

The awe-inspiring mural stands out on the newly paved walkway and invites viewers to feel the musical vibrations that came about as a result of an open call.

“Kingston Creative was kind enough to have a small open call for this mural. The prompt was to paint a mural in honour of the reggae great,” Joshua Solas told The Sunday Gleaner.

The design that the talented Solas came up with was capturing the essence of his life, showcasing the vibrant energy he had during his performances, while highlighting his legacy.

“Throughout the mural, especially on the left here, are articles on him from The Gleaner actually infused in the work, as well as titles from all of his popular songs,” the artist shared.

A sense of community, with fellow painters and community members helped to push the mural along, even when the inclement weather forced setbacks. With some water damage, the deadline of ten days was pushed back to almost three and a half weeks for completion.

“About 80 per cent of the way, we had to scrape away and paint over, so everything that you see here is fresh,” said Solas. His co-painter, Anna-Lisa Guthrie, chimed in, noting that some things were done a little better the second time around. As a result, they are both extremely grateful for the finished product.

Guthrie has built a name for herself in the design world, but shared that many were surprised that her creative skills included painting as well.

“I haven’t painted in a long time because I focus on designing and costume making. COVID-19 has been a bit interesting in terms of one door being shut and other doors opening. So I decided to walk through this door because I was invited and it turned out to be a beautiful experience,” shared Guthrie.

This awakening experience has brought back previous interests to the forefront, and it’s pushing the designer to perfect other talents.

Having spent weeks immersed in the work of Toots and the Maytals, we asked Guthrie and Solas about their favourite Toots song. The man behind solasink said he would have to pick Funky Kingston and Bam Bam, but not before Guthrie interjected, stating that it was Pressure Drop for her.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com