More Than A Literary Festival
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Robert Young

Artist and Designer

Robert Young is an artist and designer, hailing from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Founding, ‘The Cloth’, a lifestyle and fashion design company, in 1986, Robert has utilised clothing as a medium for expression; capturing the social landscapes and emotions that hail from his immersive Afro-Caribbean upbringing, and working in communities to dress and empower the troupes and personalities that make it their life’s work to represent us. 

Across the board, Robert’s work has always dealt with the idea of Caribbean Memory, focusing on places of resistance within the past and attempting to extract and transmute that energy, into the consciousness of The Now. Ever the Mas Man, Robert is long-known for his band, 'A Vulgar Fraction’; conceptualising and designing yearly roving performance art which finds the light on the streets of Port-of-Spain, during the Carnival ritual. Though these performance-pieces are made to stand out, for Robert, the responsibility is never taken lightly. Each year, the concept is duly analysed by experts, elders and the wider community, through panel discussions and active outreach. On the technical side, Robert's process is much like that of a teacher, encouraging performers and public alike, to engage with and connect this with energy through working with one’s own hands; reclaiming creativity as a central part of what it means to exist as one’s present-self. The framework, foundation, guidance and material is provided by Robert but also the encouragement and agency to have the costumes be built from the vantage point of each participant's personal relating, making the art, the wearer’s very own.

Robert has always paid attention to how slavery, indentureship and colonisation continues to impact our lives and tirelessly looks at all the ways one can work under, over, around and through the side effects of these centuries-long injustices in the interest of reuniting shards and healing fractures of The Self, which in turn, may impact, strengthen and reclaim community life, for the better.

All Sessions by Robert Young

1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Granderson Lab

Mas Making

Designer Robert Young, leader of the mas band Vulgar Fraction, will work with participants to create costumes out of natural, discarded. or recycled materials.