Cayman Traditional Arts and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman have joined forces again with their latest art exhibition. ‘Water Sense’ features a slew of well-known local artists and highlights an exciting display of their own unique interpretations to the theme. Business Editor, Lindsey Turnbull reports. Second in a series.
The Gallery, The Ritz-Carlton, West Bay Road, Grand Cayman has established itself as the perfect venue for artistic display; it’s length spans the width of the West Bay Road allowing for a wide selection of work and its location means constant viewing by the vacationers at The Ritz-Carlton.
The latest exhibition, which had its reception evening last November, is an important showing of some masterly artistic endeavours by many familiar artists whose work readers will know and love, as well as some surprises in the pot.
A diverse and colourful interpretation of Cayman’s relationship with the beautiful waters which surrounds the islands, Water Sense features work by Al Ebanks, Gordon Solomon, Nancy Davey, Avril Ward, Sue Widmer, Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette, Chris Christian, Renate Seffer, Patrick Broderick, Charles Long, Dora Williams and Jenny Palmer.
There is a certain stillness that comes over the viewer when appreciating a Patrick Broderick photograph. He has the knack of creating a scene which is nearly always fascinating, evocative and beautiful all at the same time, and his entries for the Water Sense exhibition are all those things and more.
Continuing on his ‘still landscapes’ theme which he has enjoyed pursuing for some time, Patrick has infused in the Water Sense photographs a greater depth of texture than we are used to, a theme which Patrick says he is excited to be following now.
His lens is closely focused on a variety of natural landscapes, but the detail is incredibly close and throws up intriguing patterns and colours and forces the viewer to take a step closer to fully appreciate the location of the scene. Metal-like flakes spark from oxidised rock and deep red crevice-filled rocks are depicted in all hues of the colour, while constellations of stars are reflected in a deep blue sky.
Patrick says he has to be “in the right mood” to take photos because his artwork can only be a product of inspiration.
He confirms, “I have to be in a certain frame of mind, in the creative zone before I can photograph scenes. Then something magical happens.”
He says his ability to translate into beauty what others look at but perhaps don’t actually see is a gift. “It’s a gift that I am meant to share,” he says. “Landscape textures are everywhere and the idea of capturing them in photographs grips me. And you don’t necessarily need to have to make sense of what you see. You just need to feel it.”
For Al Ebanks, the chance to explore the maritime side of life in Cayman was an opportunity he could not miss because the process evoked strong memories of childhood adventures which almost always involved the sea. Al says his ethereal abstract “Sumthing fishy” painting series was particularly cathartic, taking him back to swimming in the George Town harbour as a child.
“We used to love playing at the dock, casting nets and trying to catch fish. It was a big part of my life as a child and so I enjoyed getting those memories down on canvas. If you look closely you can see the strands of the nets. I was trying to replicate what I saw when I swam to the surface after diving into the ocean.”
Al is well known for creating huge paintings and his Water Sense pieces do not disappoint.
“I get a real sense of power when I paint to this large scale,” Al confirms. “At the end of the process I feel as if I can step right into the painting. I enjoy mixing the realistic with the abstract and impressionist to create interest and mood.”
Perhaps born out of his love for sculpting as well as painting, Al also enjoys creating a real sense of texture within his work, using thick layers of paint to reach out and touch the viewer, with a good deal of success in his Water Sense work.