Sweet Life at Arteccentrix

A brand new exhibition opened at
Arteccentrix Fine Art Gallery just recently, treating all who attended to a
glimpse of the Sweet Life created by Alta and Gordon Solomon. Business Editor
Lindsey Turnbull was in attendance and reports.  

Fine Art Gallery just recently, treating
all who attended to a glimpse of the Sweet Life created by Alta and Gordon
Solomon.

Alta and Gordon Solomon are not only a
husband and wife team, they are also working partners, creating some exciting
artistic work out of their various collusions that include a CD – Lamb and Lion
– as well as art exhibitions that have featured poetry, painting and
photography. 

Their latest offering, entitled Sweet Life,
is a depiction of Gordon’s paintings and Alta’s photography, both artistic
genres intertwining beautifully as they demonstrate the artists’ ability to
take a step back from their daily lives and, as Gordon says, “Just smell the
roses.” 

A celebration of family life and the
innocence and playfulness of youth, the exhibition, which features 14 paintings
full of movement that capture the imagination at every turn, was based upon an
initial painting that Gordon had produced which he says, was the very opposite
of the theme.

“’To be continued’ is a painting I worked
on initially which speaks about the absence of family,” he says. “At one stage
in my life, just for a moment I felt the sense of losing my family and what it
would feel like to be without them.”

Digesting and processing this feeling,
Gordon says it helped him appreciate the important people in his life – his
wife Alta and their two children, Layish (age 4) and Ari-Mae (age 2).

“Not only that, it drew my attention to the
simple things in life, such as love, laughter and play, and the artwork grew
out of these sentiments,” he adds.

His exhibition, which features important
themes painted in a playful manner with clever three dimensional effects, took
just three months to create. “Once I have an idea in mind I don’t tend to have
any variations to that initial idea. I just get focused and set to work,” he
says.

“Our appreciation for seeing life through
the eyes of a child has been rekindled with this exhibition,” Alta confirms.
“One photograph, called ‘Queen’s Crown’, for example, is a throw back to my
childhood and has poignant memories. The flowers used to cover a hedge that
surrounded my parents’ home where I grew up as a child on the Brac. We used to
make crowns for ourselves out of the flowers and I did so again last year at
Christmas for my own daughter. It’s a simple photograph but it has a great deal
of meaning for me.”

Bees are a constant feature in both the
paintings, which are all vividly coloured almost fantasy pieces that cannot
help but bring a smile to your face as you enjoy them, as well as Alta’s
beautiful photography.

“I like to focus on the small details,”
Alta says. “It’s important to me to note the small things in life, almost like
an act of contemplation.”

Photography has always been a passion for
Alta, ever since she had a small camera at high school and busied herself by
constantly taking pictures of friends and family. Gordon’s first gift to her
was a film camera. “It gave me so much pleasure to continue taking photos again
that I eventually upgraded my camera!” she says.

Featuring blossoms and bees, Alta’s work is
a delightful addition to Gordon’s lively, spirited artwork.

And to help visitors to the opening night
truly appreciate the sweet life, Alta and mum Shirley Mae (with a little help
from Gordon) created a delicious array of tempting good old-fashioned sweet
treats, including stewed water melon rind (stewed in brown sugar and sweetly
divine), coconut drops, duff, plantain tarts, Johnny cake and swanky, made with
fresh limes from the garden and lashings of brown sugar.

A sweet life indeed.

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