Claude Rahir & The Murals

curator's picture

Situated on the Mona campus are two very iconic murals. In 1979, Belgian artiste Claude Rahir along with students of the then Jamaica School Art (now Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts) created two artistic masterpieces, one on the front wall of the then Caribbean Institute (School) of Media & Communication (CARIMAC)  and the other on the three-story external wall of the Assembly Hall.  On a visit to Jamaica to restore the paintings in 1996, Rahir participated in a radio interview, where he shared how he came about doing the pieces in Jamaica. According to Rahir, after seeing his works in November 1978,  Ambassador Roderick Rainford, then President of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group, invited him to Jamaica to do a mural. After one month of searching and deliberation, the CARIMAC building on the Mona Campus was selected as an ideal site for the mural. In accordance with the purpose of the unit, Communication was the chosen theme for the painting. 

Pleased with the first mural, then Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Gerald Lalor asked Rahir to do a second mural on the Assembly Hall’s external wall facing the entrance of the University. This mural would be larger in scope. The artwork represents all faculties of the University while at the same time commemorating the International Year of the Child. Based on the artist’s account, this decision was influenced by a little boy he met on campus while working on the mural. It was this boy who made him aware that 1979 was the Year of the Child. One interesting thing to note is that Rahir incorporated the images of persons he saw on campus while working on the mural.

Below is a clip of the Interview with the renowned artiste, Claude Rahir. 

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