|The rolling hills of Chickland in the Central Range look towards the Northern Range, here shrouded in rain cloud|
|The pink house in Chickland|
Windows and doors open all around. We would do well to be inspired by this simplicity today: the open centre, windows on all sides, demerara, jalousie, fretwork. As the eyes are windows to the soul, so are windows the eyes of a house. Every window in this house opens to a view - picture windows all!
|Demerara windows on the west|
|Every window frames a picture!|
Two decades after it was built, the house and its estate Les Lilas (the lilacs were probably a reference to the petrea trees that were once plentiful in the area) were acquired by Frenchman Charles Melizan in the expansion of Santa Isabel, producing cocoa and coffee. A hundred years later, the house and a few acres including the pottery set up by Charles Melizan's grandson were acquired by Rory and Bunty O'Connor for their Ajoupa Pottery.
|Show room, dining room, living: the public space downstairs|
|The door as window, framed by Bunty's art!|
|Art in the garden pond|
As the business at Ajoupa flourished, so did the house. The ground floor was enclosed. The showroom doubled as dining and living room with a convenient kitchen and home office. Within 20 years, the factory was closed. "Who can make a pot to compete with the Chinese?" Bunty lamented the tide of globalization, and turned her attention to making art. Mosaics are installed in homes. Explorations in raku proceed with classes of willing students. Sculptural and pictorial ceramics emerge. This led to the construction of the new studio built on the same principles that evolved the pink house: an open space, steeply gabled galvanize roof, views all around, a work in progress.
|Upstairs back porch|
|Private space: gallery of her own and friends' art|
The pink house in Chickland sits amid graceful gardens where towering natives and fruits define the spaces for clumps of heliconia, bursts of colour everywhere. It is a heritage house for the rolling hills of the Central range, for the age already past, where life in the tropics was lived largely outdoors with wind and rain and big trees. The pink house and Ajoupa Gardens are both backdrop and creation of the artist in her native land, a lovely legacy for all Trinidadians.
|Sculpture in the sun|
|The new studio is not the first building designed and built by Rory O'Connor|
|Trees are silent loyal companions in the garden of the pink house|