On Creativity and Rest

Excerpts from an interview with Tracy Assing & Gesiye Souza-Okpofabri on July 25th 2022

By Rheanna Chen


A view of the rolling hills from the cottage at Ajoupa, where Tracy & Gesiye live. It overlooks a green valley with a Hindu temple in the distance and a blue sky above.
View from Artist Residency at Ajoupa


Tracy Assing and Gesiye Souza-Okpofabri are multidisciplinary artists and a couple currently at Ajoupa Gardens, a 4.5 acre estate in Freeport, Central Trinidad. Both from Trinidad – Tracy is of indigenous background and Gesiye has Nigerian heritage. Both are writers and directors in their own creative realms. Tracy has written poems, been published in magazines and books while Gesiye has recently completed her “The Wound is a Portal” project and is a tattoo artist. They share their perspective on creativity and the need to connect with nature and self, finding that balance of rest and contributing to the world.

Listen to hear more of their story:


View of Gesiye perched on a rock, framed by a larger rock. She is wearing a long red dress, with her hair in short braids. The sky is overcast and grey. You see her side profile with eyes closed.
Gesiye’s Recent Project “The Wound Is A Portal”


Tracy standing with a backpack, a cutlass/ machete by her side and a walking stick with a backdrop of the trees in the rainforest. She is wearing a light blue hat and glasses, and see her side profile.
Tracy on a hike in the Northern Range forests


Gesiye at Ajoupa


Tracy is siting on a tree log among banana and papaya trees in the forest. She is wearing a long sleeved grey shirt and a bucket hat. There is a small white dog sitting beside her. In the distance is the sea.
Tracy on a hike in the forest with Grimey, the guide dog


For your consideration:

Everything in nature has a cycle and rhythm. For there to be creation, there must be time for slowing down. After a period of rest, perhaps one feels the calling to contribute to society. How do we ebb and flow between the pause to reflect and reconnect, then to proceed with intention?


← Return to main page