A Day in the Life II

Where: The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, Harbour Place

When: 1 June – 17 July (artists in residency from 1 – 11 June / exhibitions open 11 June to 17 July, 2009)

After a successful inaugural run in 2008, the National Gallery’s art-in-residence programme and exhibition ‘A Day in the Life’ returns to the Gallery this month, sponsored by Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd.  Three popular local artists have been invited to transform the gallery space into their studios and work for two weeks in the public eye. The resulting works will be mounted in three solo exhibitions, curated by the artists themselves.

The concept behind this unusual exhibition is modelled on a traditional artist-in-residency programme that aims to allow the artists space to explore and experiment with their art, without the pressures of producing commercially viable work.  It will follow a ‘no rules’ policy offering the artists complete creative freedom.

According to Gallery Director, Natalie Coleman, there was an overwhelming response to the last residency programme from people of all ages. “The public was fascinated to watch artists in the process of making their work,” she explains. “It’s not often that we are allowed such intimate access to the artistic process. We are able to literally watch their work unfold in front of us.”

The invited artists were selected for their diverse portfolios in order to ensure wide scope in the final exhibitions. “Where as last year we featured artists working in ceramics, painting and video, we have selected three artists working in entirely different mediums in order to provide insight into the differing arts forms available on the islands,” Natalie explains.

The selected artists are David Bridgeman, a well-known veteran of the Caymanian art scene having exhibited widely on the island and abroad, who will create a single studio-sized installation with mixed media;  ‘Native Son’ Nickola McCoy, widely acknowledged as one of the country’s finest talents to have emerged in recent years, who will experiment with painting and sculpture; while the youngest artist in the troop, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, fresh from her first solo show at Full of Beans, will produce a more conceptually based collection.

Each of the artists is excited to be part of the unique programme which, in addition to the residency, allows them the opportunity to self-curate their own solo exhibitions. Kaitlyn says, “I’m ecstatic to be involved in the National Gallery’s artist-in-residency programme. It’s a great way for me to share my art making process as well as to work along side fellow artists. It’s also an excellent opportunity for the public to see what goes on behind the scenes which, in many cases, can be very important to the final art piece.”

The National Gallery is once again collaborating with Butterfield Bank (Cayman) Ltd who supported the initial residency programme last year. Not only will Butterfield sponsor the mounting of the exhibitions but will also providing an honoraria to each artist for work missed during the two week in-house programme.

“We are delighted to be on board once again,” says Searlina Bodden, Manager, Butterfield Marketing & Communications. “As Cayman’s community bank: arts, youth, education and culture are big focuses for Butterfield. This is evidenced by our heavy involvement in public and private programming island-wide. Our goal of involvement, enrichment and outreach is enhanced by supporting events such as the “Day in the Life” exhibit and we look forward to yet another outstanding showing by the National Gallery and the artists involved in this exhibit.”