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Thursday, May 13, 2021
Lynette Gabriel at the 2019 Notting Hill Carnival Launch. Photograph: Stephen Spark

Lynette Gabriel


It is with great sadness that we learnt of the passing of Lynette Gabriel, at the end of July.

Lynette and Carl are the artists behind the magnificent wire sculptures and costumes, some of which may be found around both The Tabernacle and The Yaa Centre sites of Carnival Village, where they have been based for some time; other pieces have been played and displayed up and down the country, and elsewhere. After Carl finished bending the wire, Lyn would decorate the piece, bringing it to life with colours and textures, often using recycled and natural materials.

Lyn, who came to the UK in 1956, has always been part of carnival. Her uncle was Sterling Betancourt, one of the Notting Hill Carnival’s steel pan pioneers, her dad a pannist and her mother a carnival queen. Lyn and Carl have been as dedicated to educating as to creating, working tirelessly with young people to teach and celebrate the culture and art forms of carnival, whilst sharing knowledge of their unique artistic techniques.

A gentle and unassuming powerhouse with a huge heart, Lyn will be greatly missed by all who had the pleasure and honour to know her. Soca News would like to send condolences to all her friends and family, especially to Carl in this very difficult time.

There will be a celebration for Lyn at Yaa Centre, 1 Chippenham Mews, London W9 2AN on Saturday 10 August from 4pm onward, for anyone who would like to come and remember her. The funeral will be on 22 August.