Its taken me a long time to get this post published because not only does it take a while to edit a selection from all the glorious photos but also because Ive been set back by the devastating news that the community has lost Gloria Cummins. Visiting Gloria is the fondest memory I have on my Carnival research explorations. I fell so in love with her and her house / studio that I totally out-stayed my welcome and couldn't leave. She was one of Notting Hill Carnival's original mas designers and still staying true to the art form of making traditionally inspired, narrative themed costumes. There are only a handful of bands holding on to the practise of creating larger-than-life constructions to tell the story of the roots of the tradition. I've placed her pieces as the top 4 images here to see the beautiful authentic materials and techniques that she used and taught to pass on to the next generation. I'm so saddened that Notting Hill Carnival's procession will be missing the place of her unique designs keeping it epic in scale and educational in message. Not only this but her knowledge has gone with her and we've lost a rare, invaluable mentor. I'm deeply regretful that I didn't get to know her better but magically humbled that at least I did get the chance to discover her. Long live the legacy of Flamboyan Arts and the mas camp on the Carnival route that had a Trinidad flag hanging out the window 365 days of the year.
Read my original report here.
The rest of the photos here, from the Grenfell tribute costume downwards are an amalgamation of highlights from the various mas bands that contribute to the splendour of the day. These include (in running order) Chocolate Nation Mas, South Connections, Baccahnalia, Wassiville, Ebony, Samba Batida, Elimu / Paddington Arts, Paraiso School Of Samba, Sunshine Arts, Urban Touch, Carl & Glyn Gabriel, Mahogany.
See more on my Instagram for The Carnival Arts & Masquerade Foundation here.