An original illustration of a Donkey bearing a Coconut Cart, by Al Akong; an artist from Trinidad and Tobago on scraper-board, circa 1971. Educated at the Camberwell Art School in London and later did some study at London’s National Portrait Gallery.
He spent much of his youth going from one small Caribbean island to another absorbing nature and friendship at its best.
During his training at Camberwell, he learned to execute ten-minute portrait sketches. It was this training which held him in good stead at a time when travellers did not know about let alone have a mobile phone with a camera function to memorialise their visit of everyday Caribbean experiences.
Now 78, Mr Akong continues to live in Trinidad and spends much of his days outdoors, caring for his swarm of Africanised bees or drawing whatever excites him – banana trees or coconut trees, boats on the beach or an ideal little cottage. His medium seems to be predominantly pen and ink or scratchboard; where he never uses an eraser.
The demand for his drawings of Caribbean landscapes, often done from his imagination and memory and in the comfort of his bedroom studio in Port of Spain, helped to provide him with a livelihood. He continues to be a part of the vibrant art history of Trinidad Artists.