Patoo Gamechangers | Berette Macaulay (Artist & Writer)
The dynamic Caribbean is animated by the ideas, emotions and actions of a core community of influential insiders. The Patoo Gamechangers, like Berette Macaulay, are people who are shaping the Caribbean region from either within the region or in the Diaspora across all corners of the globe. They are passionate, diverse and interesting whether they are corporate, creative or entrepreneurial ventures.
Name: Berette Macaulay
Instagram Handle: @berettemacaulay
Profession: Artist | Writer
Hometown: Kingston, Jamaica
Now Lives: Bicoastal, USA
Three words to describe your style?
It’s in constant shift depending on circumstance:
Classic, Afro-Bohemian, Sporty chic
Your personality type is?
An introverted, extroverted, intellectual wanker with a pliable and unruly heart
Your greatest skill is?
I am a fast learner. I grasp concepts and the fundamentals of most subjects with little effort, and then find correlations or create hybrids between the most disparate subjects, histories, ideas, foods, personality types, cultures, professions, and experiences. I put this to use in advisory mode mostly for others and rarely for myself. It’s fun, and can get quite complex, but it’s where I feel most useful.
How’d you get into your career?
By talent and by accident – in all my careers to date I was skipping along in one and then tripped into the next...I was a model, theater artist, and dancer who stumbled into make up, lighting, and photography – with a few writing assignments along the way. In other words, there was never really a plan.
Do you have any tips for beginners?
Never let anyone convince you that your vision should be altered to suit something untrue for you. And ‘anyone’ includes yourself!
It will make you waste time pursuing unsustainable projects that will lead you away from your authentic self. Listen to your gut and tell the truth always – you will be most proud of that work in the long run, no matter what the world says. Mind the Gap.
Jamaica feels like?
The most stable place in my heart.
If you could speak any foreign language fluently enough to write poetry in, which language would it be?
Armaic (even though it’s pretty much dead now…) …or Portugués
What’s integral to the work of a creative?
Discipline. If your heart is open, inspiration and passion will always be there, but they don’t always get the work done: a disciplined work ethic will. Reminders. Real talk.
What role does the creative have in society?
The creative, by personal sacrifice, imagines a collective evolution of spirit for us all. ‘The creative’ models the art of risk, vulnerability, and curiosity. As such I believe all creatives to be a shamans, seers, healers of societies – the ones who live at full emotional rawness and mental peril, - always questioning, remembering, confronting, demanding examination of our morals and mores, and forecasting the communal benefits of life if lived as ‘conscious’ beings. The creative empowers us all to create new, evolved ways of ‘being’.
What's your hidden talent?
Who is the last person you texted?
An artist friend of mine
The person you admire most?
My Mother. Yeh.
And anyone who may have fears, but dares greatly anyway.
If you could give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would it be?
Stop questioning your gut and worrying so much, it’s an utter waste of time and energy. Better to spend the time making mistakes full throttle and learning from them, than avoiding falls. Life is longer than you think…
That is impossible to answer…
… yup, utterly impossible. lol
What’s your favorite app – facebook, instagram, pinterest, twitter, snapchat or periscope?
Hmmm…I think Twitter. Up until recently I used it the least, but I’ve always respected it the most. Not as much bullshit and egocentric wanking on there. No one cares about your image, they care more about your intellect. I like that. If anyone follows you there, they actually share your interests. At least that’s the impression I get. And nope, I have no idea how someone as variable in interests or as verbose as me survives in that space…but I do someone how! haha
What do you dislike about your work?
These days the work I do is an amalgam of other art mediums with old and new photographic processes. The mixed media artist story – which is fun but can often tax the brain and body. I create all digital and film images used in my collage transfer light boxes, and I degrade prints for use in other works. It’s all VERY labour intensive…which can be a pain sometimes. Literally.
Should the arts be funded?
Yes. The arts are there to serve everyone and so I think everyone should be invested in the arts.
What role does arts funding have?
If it is working well, the role should be to provide assured availability of art education and art therapies for children during their primary brain growing years, and for the mentally or physiologically disabled during their brain repairing recoveries or for health maintenance of all developmental stages through the elder years.
If it is working well, arts funding should allow for continued opportunities for career artists to have access to vocational and cross-vocational training, which allows them to continue serving society as provocateurs, teachers, counselors and health care collaborators, cultural negotiators, policy/peace advisors, activists, and memory ministers (in the form of monuments and the like).
We already use artists in these and several other ways, but often it is at the expense of their own intrinsically tenuous livelihoods – and this is simply not acceptable or sustainable if we are to continue to evolve mindfully or sustainably as a society.
Favorite hotel in the world?
Hmmm…I’m not much of a hotel person – I have peeps around the world with whom I typically stay… so my selection is from a limited pool – and it’s a tie among 3:
- ACE Hotel in New York – the place has a cool lounge culture, and the rooms are outfitted with record players and a collection of LPs to spin. Hello!
- Trident in Port Antonio, Jamaica – luxury, contemporary beauty, and peacefully quiet
- Waterstreet Hotel, Port Townsend, Washington – quaint, charming, antique beauty, quiet escape
If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
Oh – that would have to be Cassava Leaf plasas with gari and a big jug of coconut water to wash it down with my grandma’s fruit cake and grapenut ice-cream for dessert.
Note - this is a combo meal of Sierra Leonean and Jamaican eats.
Favorite Jamaican landmark?
A tie again:
Blue Mountains, Hope Gardens, and Giddy House in Port Royal - mainly because both these places shift time for me and make me feel that shift physically…
What’s your favorite curse word?
F@*k. No doubt.
Mango Mojito – though I don’t really drink - lol
The thing you most value?
Emotional honesty and mental safety in relationships
The most valuable lesson you’ve learned?
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
To comfort the inner child in each of us and make everyone’s dreams come true
If you had to live in any other Caribbean island other than Jamaica, which would it be?
That’s tough. Jamaica is so cool.
And I’ve been to very few places in the Caribbean
…Bahamas maybe…I have more people there.