National Gallery offers lunchtime lectures on art

Artists Aston Ebanks and David Bridgeman were on hand at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands to give a lecture for June’s installment of the National Gallery’s Lunchtime Lecture.

Those interested in the arts can learn more about local art through the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands’ Lunchtime Lecture sessions. The 30 minute events feature short lectures, presented by the gallery curator, artists or an occasional special guest lecturer and a light lunch, giving attendees enough time to enjoy the artwork, lecture and their lunch while on lunch break.

June’s lecture featured artists Aston Ebanks and David Bridgeman, both contributing artists to the National Gallery’s exhibition of The Persistence of Memory, which will continue until 19 August and features the art of 10 local artists. Other contributing artists include Wray Banker, Manuela Dack, Rita Dilbert-Powell, Davin Ebanks, Kaitlyn Elphinstone, Anne Goulden, Greg Lipton and Nasaria Suckoo-Chollette. The exhibition explores the concept of memories through audio and visual artwork presented in a variety of mediums.

The lecture began with Aston Ebanks discussing his piece, a collage of photographs that have been taken over a period of time starting in the 1990s, spanning until as recently as the last couple of weeks.

Ebanks informed the group on why he chose the medium of photographs, explaining that photographs are the trigger of memories. “Photographs are but one of the many prompts that trigger memory,” he said. He also talked about why the photographs were in no order whatsoever, just completely random flashes, and how that reflected the random flashes of memories.

Of the images included in the piece, some are from other series of his works while some are of a more personal nature, such as an image of his grandmother.

Bridgeman was on hand to discuss the creative processes behind his piece, The Five Sisters, done in oil on canvas. During his part of the lecture he discussed with the attendees the time he spent at Miss Lassies house, time that greatly influenced his final piece.

Bridgeman explained that his artwork is impacted by both his past growing up in England, his life here in Cayman and aspects of both places that can be seen in The Five Sisters.

“This painting combines landscape images from a variety of places that link memory of the past and present. The images overlap and intertwine to produce an entanglement of shapes and forms that are a suggestion of things remembered,” said Bridgeman.

“They also include a third person perspective and interpretation of memory. Inspired by a five month residency at Miss Lassie’s Heritage House, the painting has included the simplified tree forms that adorn the cottage on South Sound. The title of the piece shares its name with a clump of trees in Whytham Woods, Oxfordshire,” he continued.

While the lectures are a great opportunity for those interested in learning more about local artists and the processes and techniques behind artwork, it is also a great opportunity for artists and other people who are there to lead the discussion.

“The lunchtime lecture provides an artist with an opportunity to speak for 15 to 30 minutes about their art. I find that it helps me, as an artist, to clarify things in my own mind about what I am trying to achieve. It also helps me in going forward. By explaining what I have done, the processes involved and the idea behind the work, I find that it gives me a new starting point for my next piece or pieces. It is also interesting to get feedback from the viewer and to find out how they interpret the artwork,” said Bridgeman.

National Gallery’s Lunchtime Lectures take place once a month on the fourth Wednesday of the month, free for members and $5 for non-members. Attendees are given a lunch voucher to use at Barnie’s Coffee and Tea Company, just upstairs from the gallery.