The Visual Arts Society has a fittingly picturesque home at the Watler House in the grounds of Pedro St James, affectionately known as Pedro Castle, so where better to showcase some of the best talent from the art group in an art show that highlighted the variety and diversity of artistic endeavours.
Art@the Castle brings together established artists as well as budding amateurs and first-time exhibitors in a wonderful showing of all the best from Cayman’s Visual Arts Society, an entity that has been bringing artists together in Cayman for over 30 years.
Visitors to the most recent exhibition, an annual event that spans just four days, will have enjoyed some of the great works of established artists Gordon Solomon, Avril Ward and Dora Williams. Gordon’s signature pointillism style gives way to an exciting and colourful fragmented approach, with emotive and often heart rending titles such as Sorrow’s Weight and Taking Flight. Avril shows diversity in her talent with her still lifes as well as more abstract works such as Shell and Walking Stick and Windy Day II. Dora’s work always pleases as she moves to a more abstract feel with Seashell (a common theme among the artist’s work) and Cayman reflections. Her trademark blues, aquas and metallic are a joy to behold and fill the viewer with tranquillity.
Two artists who particularly delight because of their sense of humour so evident in their work are Barbara (Bunny) Holmes and Renate Seffer. The former enjoys teasing her audience with her Eat your Greens painting and makes us laugh with her Rooster and his Harem work, while the latter’s Little Dancers bring life and energy into painting.
Robert McKendrick and Shirley Scott are both gifted batik artists and their works reflect the tremendous patience as well as obvious artistic flair that they possess to create these tricky pieces. Shirley exhibited a delicate China Blossom piece while Robert’s Winter on the Farm and Heritage House are detailed and intriguing pieces.
Quickly becoming a well-established and popular artist, Deborah Brookes-Mangan showed off her particular skills with some truly beautiful pieces, such as the Red Schooner and Smith Cove, a real talent to watch, while Sue Howe’s simply but effective pieces, such as But Still the Sea and On the Table show how the artist is able to capture familiar scenes and bring them to life with apparent ease.
Newcomer to the Visual Arts Society exhibition scene is Rasitha Sanjeeva, whose work such as Lonely Life and Woman in Dream are unique and exciting takes on abstract, mixing texture with colour in an unforgettable manner.
Many congratulations to all these artists and to all the other artists who took the time to exhibit and showcase just how important a group the Visual Arts Society is to Cayman’s artistic world, whereby a meeting of the minds and a pooling of ideas can produce great things.