Tributes have been pouring in following the death of celebrated local artist LeRoy Clarke who died early this morning at the age of 82.
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said in a statement that T&T had "sadly lost a true genius of the soil, icon and pioneer of Caribbean art".
She added: "Mr Clarke was a truly gifted painter and poet, but those labels alone do not do him or his work justice. Mr Clarke belonged to that pantheon of great Trinidad and Tobago intellectuals, who transformed Caribbean culture, and proved that Caribbean artists could stand shoulder to shoulder with those from anywhere around the world.
"Drawing from the rich traditions of our local folklore, as well as his proud African heritage, Mr Clarke’s cavasses sought to depict the struggle of oppressed peoples. His brushstrokes were the weapons by which he hoped to emancipate those living under repression."
Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell said Clarke was one of this country's finest contemporary artists.
"This country owes a debt to him for his life's contribution; this is a great loss to Trinidad and Tobago, but we are culturally richer because of his work and influence," Mitchell said.
He added: "On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts, I express my heartfelt condolences to Dr Clarke's family and the people of Trinidad and Tobago. We will continue to honour and preserve the legacy he has bestowed upon this country."