A brand new art exhibition recently opened at The Galleries of the Ritz-Carlton titled Beloved Isle Cayman, produced by Cayman Traditional Arts. Five artists captured Cayman’s treasured National Song on canvas, each interpreting the theme through their own unique artistic talents: Patrick Broderick, Dora Williams, Miguel Powery, Christel Ibsen and Mikael Seffer. Business Editor Lindsey Turnbull reports.
Patrick Broderick – an artist with vision
Fine art photographer Patrick says it was easy for him to interpret the Beloved Isle Cayman theme because he spends his days looking at the elements that make up the Cayman Islands to see how he can interpret them photographically.
“A number of my previous works complemented this theme really well,” he says.
The calmness and serenity of his almost abstract pieces looking at the skyline and the ocean are wonderful examples of Patrick’s view of this Beloved Isle Cayman, and they have the unique ability of transcending the moment and transporting the viewer to his or her very own ‘happy place’.
Taking a slightly new direction, Patrick says he is really excited about adding some texture to his photography with the use of painting on top of the final image.
His Smith Cove artwork includes some exciting brushstrokes, which seem to bring to life the foliage and scenery of the piece.
“Adding oils and acrylics to the photograph bring depth to the work,” Patrick explains, “and I’m really excited about this new direction, harnessing another aspect of fine art.”
Patrick says he finds painting therapeutic and has taken a number of art classes, including ones that he remembers with particular fondness with the late Ed Oliver (or “Mr Ed” as he
“He explained to me that painting was one of the best ways of relaxing,” Patrick recalls. “The deeper that I get into painting the greater I appreciate this statement.”
Patrick is an artist who needs to ‘get into the zone’ before he is mentally prepared for taking fine art photography; whereas painting, he says, actually carries him to a place of calmness.
“I can completely connect with the National Song,” Patrick states. And indeed, the beauty of his work is a great and powerful testament to that understanding and to the Cayman Islands
as a whole.
Dora Williams – a gift from the sea
A splendid collage of mixed media stands proudly among the stunning pieces celebrating the Beloved Isle Cayman, the title of The Ritz-Carlton’s latest exhibition held at its Galleries that span the West Bay Road, produced by Cayman Traditional Arts. It is also the title of Cayman’s National Song, thus evoking nationalistic pride at the many wondrous natural bounties with which the Cayman Islands have been bestowed.
Dora’s collage is named ‘Oh sea of palest emerald, merging to darkest blue,’ which is a significant line from the song, evoking the unique aquatic aspect of the three Cayman Islands, nestled far out in the dazzling emerald seas of the Western Caribbean.
Her painting is a celebration of the history and culture of the islands, with an intense aquamarine background interspersed with her signature metallic paintwork which curves around shiny shells and catboat sails. Pieces of thick rope, so integral to the economy of the island in years gone by, also wind their way into the painting. The silvery compass at the top right hand corner of the piece shows that Dora has certainly found her way when it comes to the evolution of her artwork.
Continuing with her favoured shell theme, Dora explores the shape of the nautilus shell in Nautilus I and Nautilus II, deconstructing the curvaceous shape into nine separate paintings for each piece. Her usage of gold metallic paint and the shades of aquamarine and blue produce a highly commercial example of Dora’s skills.
Leaving the shell imagery aside for a moment, Dora has also explored the image of the egret, a well-known water bird that is often seen paddling in marshy land around Cayman. Egret I and Egret II are loving depictions of this commonplace Cayman figure.
Flying at Dawn furthers the bird theme with a look at seagulls flying into a shimmering sun, its apparent heat augmented by the clever usage of thick metallic paint that draws the viewer into its spiral of colour, flare and texture.
A delightful exhibition that aptly encompasses the theme, cleverly paying homage to all the sea’s bounties.