<<News-page 15


By Ilka Hilton Clarke and Peter Sheppard on behalf of The Art Society of Trinidad & Tobago



Ilka writes:

My friend, Luise Kimme, has died  and my mind has not yet accepted that fact. I keep hearing her voice “Hallooooooo” answering her phone.

I met Luise many years ago when she had an exhibition at the 101 Art Gallery at its then location on Tragarete Road. I marvelled at the art and heard it was created by a German sculptor who lives in Tobago. I soon met her and as we were talking she asked me to translate some pages she was writing for a catalogue for her from German to English. Even though her English was excellent, sometimes a little “German-English” crept in. This is how our friendship started, slowly. After a while she asked me to do a homepage for her and in collaborating on that we got to know each other well and a friendship was born. Over the years we made  many trips through Trinidad, always on business for Luise, no sight seeing.  Art was serious business for Luise, everything had to be perfect, and her visions had to be executed as she saw them, no compromises. Luise was the true artists, she created what she wanted to create and exhibit, no “commercialising” for her, ever.

Luise wanted her work to “live on” after her death and she spoke with me about this for many years. She tried to talk with persons in Government in Trinidad and the THA about giving her House and Museum and all her work in Trust, but nobody seemed interested, so she started to donate and ship her Orishas to Cuba where they were received with much enthusiasm and thanks and placed in the Casa de Caribe in Santiago de Cuba.

During  the 2012 'Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba, her 2 Nijinsky dancers were inaugurated in front of the entrance of Teatro Heredia and La Diabless in front of Taller Cultural and her 10 Orisha Sculptures were shown at AHS Ass. los Hermanos Saiz, with a candle processions and the candles were then placed in front of the sculpture.

I was very sad that the sculptures had left Tobago forever and were now in Cuba, but Luise thought it was a good thing since they were much appreciated there.

Luise was passionate about her work and next to it was her passion for dance which she had since childhood. This affinity for dance can be seen in many of the pieces she created, from Latin dance to the Tobago Jig.
Luise finally satisfied her craving for dance lessons and began to take formal Latin Dance  classes in Tobago and Trinidad in the early 2000s. She donned perfect dance shoes and outfits and travelled to Trinidad for lessons and completed several exams. In May of 2006 she passed her Gold exam I.D.T. with "highly recommended" in the four smooth standard dances. The examiner was a former British International European and Latin American Champion, Lynn Armsby. Luise was full of glee.

We watched Dancing with the Stars, she in Tobago, I in Trinidad and called each other during the show to comment on it.

Luise also took the opportunity to dance salsa in Cuba whenever she visited on her many annual visits to attend sculpture classes in the “lost wax method” and work with outstanding Cuban artists in the Taller in Santiago de Cuba.

Luise liked to eat and also cook for her guests. Since I knew her, she was a vegetarian and sometimes she brought some strange food to share with me on her visits to Trinidad: some hard brown bread she had made herself, some other weird “Luise” food.

In many of her sculptures and paintings you find dogs. Luise had up to nine dogs, all from the Tobago Animal Shelter which she supported very generously over the years. Every afternoon around 4 pm she would climb down and back up a very steep hill next to her house to take the dogs to a small river near the Mt Irvine golf course. This she did until quite recently, until her illness forced her to stop. Her dogs and her cat, Mitzka, were very close to her. Everyone had his or her own chair at night to watch t.v. with Luise. She got up every day at 5 am to cook for them.

Luise was an extremely strong and determined person, especially when it came to her art. Even though she was ill she continued working and completed 5 reliefs and a tall sculpture from January till April 2013.

Luise was a great influence in my life, making me look at things in different ways, expanding my knowledge about art and music.

I will forever remember the car trip back to the airport when she and I searched our memories for the lyrics of a silly old German song called “Ach Egon”. Both of us singing out loud, combining our remembered lyrics of the song and in the end completing it.

In January, when I saw Luise alive for the last time at her house in Tobago, we again sang “Ach Egon” and laughed.

Luise, I miss you and I will look for you “Over the Rainbow”, a concept you believed in.

 Ilka Hilton Clarke



Peter Sheppard writes:

I’ve known Luise Kimme for a number of years, also dating back to the time when she showed with Mark Periera at The 101 Art Gallery at its original location on Tragarete road.   There I remember buying a bust of a Cuban Man complete with beret. This piece resides as you enter my house.  

Over the years, I’ve visited Luise at her museum and home on many occasions. No trip to Tobago was without paying her a visit. Sometimes, taking overseas friends with me. We loved sitting amongst her medley of dogs  objects d’art and listening to her many fascinating stories. It was quite common for the audience to build around the table: 2 Brits over there, a friend from Trinidad, perhaps a German relative and Luise.   There was always delicious fresh juice to be had on such occasions.

She often spoke of her relationship not just with Trinidad and Tobago but also of Cuba, of which we shared a mutual passion. I’m glad that I own the Cuban man because this bridges all this for me. Similarly, every time I visited the house in Bethel, Tobago, I was not only greeted by her family of rescued dogs but also of a sculpted one which sat watch at the entrance to her living room. I always admired this dog and asked if I can buy it many times.. But, she said it was her “watch dog”   and her name was “Tasha”.  Once Luise got to know that I wanted to give it to my partner Naz and she understood he had a soft spot for strays and donates to AWN and the the TSPCA she let me buy ‘Tasha” so I can have her for Naz to keep watch at our Cotton Hill home.

My impression of Luise is that she loved life and loved people. As her sculptures still stand tall, one can almost her their chatter, sense their rhythm and imagine the stories once told by Luise about who they were. She always supported and encouraged me in my own artistic endeavours and attended many of my shows. I greatly appreciate this.

Luise spoke more recently of her desire to have this creative space that she lived and worked in for so many years be used not only to house her legacy, but also to function as a creative center of sorts, to foster and promote the all genres of the Visual Arts.

I last saw Luise in late November when she visited the 101 gallery on other business during the run of my show.

 I join in all your family, friends, colleagues and fans in saying how much you will be missed.



Peter Sheppard

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