Over the past decade, photographer Tim Smith has travelled back to his childhood home of Barbados, as well as many other places in the Caribbean with close connections to Britain. His photographs from these trips are presented alongside those taken by his father Derek Smith during the 1950s and 60s in the exhibition, ‘Island Life: Carnival and the Caribbean’.

The Caribbean’s multicultural history has shaped a unique set of regional identities, as well as giving birth to Caribbean festivals, music and masquerade. Tim said: “I wanted to produce an exhibition which moves beyond the popular stereotypes of ‘Paradise Islands’. I set out to create photographs which explore the region’s past and show how this history has shaped the Caribbean of today, which embraces an extraordinary fusion of peoples and cultures drawn from the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, but is totally Caribbean. As you travel through the region you discover how this heritage varies from island to island, which gives each nation its own distinctive character.”

Over the next six months, Tim will be working alongside other artists in Leeds, visiting local people and places to explore different experiences of carnival, as well as talking about everyday life in both Britain and the Caribbean.

Some of the stories and pictures collected will then be used as part of a larger exhibition to be shown in Leeds Central Library in the summer of 2018.

If you would like more information about this project please contact Tim at timsmithphotos@btinternet.com.

Island Life, Tim Smith
The Renegades Steel Orchestra on the road as part of the 1967 Trinidad Carnival. Photo by Derek Smith.
A group of girls eating candyfloss making their way to the Junior Calypso Competition held in Newtown as part of Dominca's annual carnival.
Blue Devils at the Grenada Carnival held each year in the island's capital of St George's.
Photographer, Tim Smith.