A lifetime of achievement


A Grenadian artist, who now spends much of his time in Hastings, has been presented with an OBE at Buckingham Palace last week.

Gordon de la Mothe was given the OBE primarily for services to art on the Commonwealth island of Grenada, West Indies, his birthplace.

An artist, art historian and retired art teacher, for the last 18 years Mr de la Mothe has lived between Grenada and Hastings.

He established the teaching of art in Grenada, teaching GCSE and A Level art.

The courses he began and taught have resulted in many successful young people establishing careers in the West Indies, America and Great Britain.

His work has even led to a diploma/degree course in his native Grenada.

Mr de la Mothe has also worked in education projects in England and has published a book on Black History through art.

The book, Reconstructing the Black Image, is a study of the social and historical context in which the derogatory images of Africans were constructed, leading to a recognition of their distortion and inaccuracy.

The publication is used as reference material all around the world, but particularly in America.

Mr de la Mothe is currently involved in an educational project with the Tate.

His daughter, Sharon Burgess of St Helen’s Park Road, told the Observer how her father rose from humble beginnings to become a well-respected artist, historian and teacher.

She said: “My father is now 83 years old.

“He came to England in 1957 with a few O Levels.

“He supported his family, I have four brothers, achieved A 
Level art, an art degree at Maidstone Art College and his PGCE, without taking any help from the state apart from child benefit.

“He is a remarkable man.”