Marie Angela Staples (nee Sabga) was born in Trinidad, West Indies, lived in Guyana and visited other Caribbean Islands but has lived most of her life in Jamaica.
During the late 60s she left Jamaica to study in Scotland at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee and spent a total of 8 years in the United Kingdom and Europe. Returning to Jamaica in the 70s she tutored for a while at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts. She also worked with the Prime Minister of Jamaica, The Honourable Edward Seaga in the Development of major craft projects at “Things Jamaican Ltd.” A brainchild of Mr. Seaga,and in the restoration of an important historical site, dating back to 1881 – Devon House. This 19th century building was saved from demolition and “reconstruction” into a modern condominium because of the brilliance and foresight of Mr. Seaga who at that time – before his election as Prime Minister, was Minister of Development and Welfare.
During this period Angela, with the agreement of Mr. Seaga and the team of consultants was the recipient of a U.N.I.D.O Fellowship(United Nations Industrial Development Organization) and worked in Manhattan with a design studio to develop a variety of labels for Jamaican gourmet foods and products. It was an interesting experiment.
In 1983, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were scheduled to visit Jamaica and Mr. Seaga, who was now the Prime Minister of Jamaica, announced that the occasion of their visit would coincide with the official opening of Devon House. All plans for renovation of the site and appropriate celebrations for the Royal occasion began. It turned out to be an unforgettable experience for most of those involved and Angela Staples had the honour of being one of those invited to be personally introduced to the Queen and Prince Phillip.
Today Devon House is a much loved location for the people of the island and tourists who come here. Everyone enjoys the beautiful gardens, the variety of shops and a tour of the Historic Great House where the rooms silently exhale the essence of a way of life, long forgotten.
Angela Staples finally made the decision to focus on her own studio work and she has exhibited in many group shows and solo exhibitions. She has participated in the Festival of Arts, Kingston, Jamaica, receiving the Silver award (the highest award for that year) and the award of merit. She has also exhibited at the following galleries: the National Art Gallery, Frame Art, Frame Centre, Bay Gallery, Montego Bay; Sun Art, Montego Bay, Grosvenor Gallery, Kingston. Her work is in the collections of many corporate and private buyers in Kingston, Jamaica, as well as in Florida, Washington DC, and Philadelphia, Canada and the UK. She has illustrated a book Cover for Caribbean McMillan. She has been featured in Jamaican Publications e.g. The Jamaica Journal, a quarterly Publication by the Institute of Jamaica, Investor’s Choice, and the daily newspapers of Jamaica; “The Observer,” “The Gleaner” and the”Evening Star.” She has also had television interviews regarding her Art and has granted permission, on request, for various organizations to use her work for some of their special programs. She continues to work quietly and privately and hopes to do so for a long time.
This is the experience of an Artist who knows that her themes from nature which are depicted through colours, impressions, a variety of tonal evaluations and the unending play of light, are without doubt an invaluable indication of the creativity and presence of God who reveals Himself in amazing beauty and power. The imagery and majesty of intuitive perspectives are reflected in bouquets of flowers, of mountains, winding pathways, gardens and cloudy skies. This is by right of birthplace her gift, a tropical environment within the Caribbean which deeply inspires her. The Artist realizes that through her natural surroundings, a presence larger than herself influences every aspect of her own mental and emotional existence and gives purpose to her life. She is grateful.