Justice served

Justice Wendell Kangaloo photographed on July 20, 2010 on location at the Hall of Justice.
Photograph by Mark Lyndersay.

I did my first photograph for the Judiciary of Trinidad and Tobago on July 23, 2008. I'd been commissioned to work on the annual report by Lonsdale Saatchi & Saatchi and after conferring with the Court and Protocol office we decided to photograph the Justices individually, isolated on white with three options, business suit, court collar and robes and formal collar and robes.

The photographs allow anyone working on projects with the Judiciary to build group images with considerable flexibility.
The Justices are busy people, their work is demanding and in any given year, their schedules make it impossible to have everyone photographed. They are also quite different people who approach their photo sessions with a range of attitudes and approaches, but over time, I like to think that I've won a smidgen of respect for ensuring that their images are dignified and authoritative.

The works are quite interesting taken as a collection. I'd hosted a selection of the work on my website for a few months, but eventually responded to a request by the Judiciary to remove it after security concerns were raised about web accessible images of the judges. Keeping the images consistent also ensures that they work together well even when groups are made up of images taken years apart.

The most recent request for such a group image came on the appointment of President Anthony Carmona; for whom the Judiciary wanted to put together a group image of all the Justices he had served with.
With the help of my digital compere Peter Shim, the project came together quickly and well and the Judiciary was able to offer their colleague a one-of-a-kind gift.

Sometimes in long-term projects like these, you get a call that you'd rather not have to answer. I'd had that experience on three occasions
during my long term documentation of Gayelle's presenters.
That call came from the Judiciary two weeks ago, to put me on notice that Justice Wendell Kangaloo, a pleasant and professional member of his corps, was not expected to recover from injuries sustained in an accident a year earlier.

Condolence books would be set up to mark his passing, and a framed photograph would be a part of the setting. The first plan was for a standing photo next to the book, so I headed out to commission appropriate frames.
Normally, I'd leave framing up to framers, but the way the Judiciary operates is something that I've had an opportunity to observe for some time and I had some thoughts about what a suitable frame would look like for this project.

You can see the final work here in place. It's a black frame with very subtle gold speckling and a gold internal edge. That's buffered by a black mat and edged by a gold internal mat to border the original image.

Picking the gold internal mat consumed the most time. The framer kept suggesting a polished gold finish, but that didn't feel right. I went with a mat with what looked like a hammered, burnished gold finish, not the illusion of decorative metal, but warrior's metal, tempered by work in the field.

Appropriate, I think, for a fine, always polite and cooperative man who had earned the respect and love of his peers.
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