Celebrating The Artistic Talents of Pat Bishop
If you are ever fortunate to meet Pat Bishop you will find that you have entered into an enchanted space of genius imagination.  She has the most beautiful eyes which engage you as you speak to her and indeed she is simply amazing - this gentle persona with a refined voice that belies a strong mind and personality. It is not surprising therefore that NGC would be associated with Pat Bishop and the Lydian Singers for over 16 years.

 Well in our 33rd year of operations, NGC knows a thing or two so it is not a strange thing for us to have pursued the association since Pat Bishop is one of our esteemed citizens known not only for her art, but also for her view of society and the issues of the time.

The artwork of Pat Bishop
In 2008, NGC is privileged to own a second painting  which is located on the staircase leading to the first floor’s executive foyer.  Entitled “A Yellow Savannah Poui, in Memory of Panoramas we used to know and Carnivals past”,   the painting is a work of art that makes a lot of sense to those of us from Port of Spain who are serenaded every year with Poui blooms around the Savannah and the Cascade Hills.

Mounted in a three dimensional format and made of wood, cane and bamboo engraved with 23 ct gold leaf, on canvas, acrylic and hand-moulded plastic, the painting lends itself to different levels of interpretation such as, are the ghosts of Panoramas and Carnivals past residing in the Poui?  Is the Poui trying to tell us something? 
Pat Bishop studied in the UK in the 1960s and got her degrees in Fine Art and History.  On her return to Trinidad and Tobago she has been at the forefront of this nation in music and in painting.  She has become our very own Gandalf, our conscience – a thermometer for our times.

In 1999, NGC acquired a painting that hangs in the reception area entitled "Praise Song to the Keeper of the Flame".  This painting was inspired by Celtic Spirituality and at the time of its conception Pat had no idea that her painting would find a permanent home in the corporate environment of NGC.  Basically it is a three-panel triptych in which gas by pipeline is sent to a place of safety symbolized by a house with a hinged gate. 

Pat Bishop working on her art in the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited
Does the Poui provide the natural backdrop that the steel and concrete of stadiums might not?  And what about the rusty pan below the painting?  Has Pan died and been left outside to rot?  Is Pan bleeding for acceptance, in spite of it being heralded as the national instrument?

Based on interviews with the artist and reviews of her work, we offer the following interpretation: The painting seeks to expose grief, disappointment, betrayal and some of the effects of technology and modernism in Carnival and Pan. Grief for a savannah whose green spots have been forever lost through paving; grief for a savannah that is no longer home to Panorama Finals and Carnival; grief that the talent of pan pioneers has now been forgotten with the advent of gleaming chrome and G-pans.

 The art close-up                                   Pat Bishop
The  bamboo sticks which support the structure of the art remind us that the human condition is fragile and the rusty pan is a stark reminder to us all - a memorial of things we used to know that in the face of newness have been shoved into obsolescence.