I first met Louise Kimme in the 1970s when she was still splitting her time between her native Germany and her adopted Caribbean home, Tobago. Even then, she already carved life-size (and larger) figures out of locally harvested wood. She was inspired by Tobagonian folklore, the harvest festivals where people dressed as they might have during colonial times and danced the old-timey jigs. Louise had an eye for pulling a figure out of the wood that almost looked like a stereotype; but it wasn’t because you could recognize common postures, the way people held their head or thrust out their chest, or held their arm just so.
I forgot about Louise Kimme until I went back to Tobago a few years ago and was taken by her new house there. Did I say “house?” It actually resembled a palace and turned out to be a museum or art gallery on the inside. This is the street view of her house. Notice the Egyptian style statues on the roof in addition to the life-sized statues in front of the house:
I really liked the statues of this couple dancing together:
Louise was away traveling but when I explained to the caretaker that I had known her so long ago and was disappointed to miss seeing her, he allowed me to come inside the courtyard and take pictures of more statues there:
The figure high up on the steps is yet another one of Louise’s sculptures. Her house, as you would expect from an artist like her, was one of a kind, with decorative woodwork and shutters:
Before I left Tobago, I discovered another one of Louise’s creation, a sweet young girl, located at the Kariwak Village hotel:
Louise Kimme passed away last year. She leaves behind a rich collection of unique artwork.
This post was created in response to Ailsa’s Travel Theme: Statues.