National Gallery showcases rarely seen watercolours

| 01/07/2016
CNS Local Life

Pink Cottage by Joanne Sibley

(CNS): Rarely displayed watercolour paintings from the early collections of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) and the Cayman Islands National Museum will be on show at the gallery from today (1 July) through 16 September. The exhibition titled, “A Legacy of Light”, features a wide selection of landscapes, seascapes and architectural studies by both established and lesser-known artists from the Cayman Islands.

NGCI director and curator, Natalie Urquhart, explained, “Watercolour is a medium that has become synonymous with the early development of the visual arts in the Cayman Islands. As an art form capable of producing an astonishing variety of effects, from subtle atmospheric washes to brilliant tropical hues, it is perfectly suited to capturing the light and palette of the Caymanian landscape.

“The exhibition not only celebrates our unique natural environment but also pays homage to our vibrant cultural heritage.”

“A Legacy of Light” follows the National Gallery’s popular temporary exhibition, “Native Sons – Twenty Years On”, which featured works by contemporary artists who emerged in the mid-1990s.

The new exhibition provides audiences with insight into the lives of the painters practising before that period, during the formative years of the visual arts community.

“During the 1970s and 1980s watercolour was a predominant medium for artists working in the Cayman Islands as it was well suited to capturing the picturesque local environment, often ‘en plein air’,” Urquhart said.

“Few artists would experiment with different genres (or subjects) until the following decade, largely driven by the strong demand amongst collectors for this type of art as well as a genuine desire to capture the remarkable light and colours of our natural landscape.”

Featured artists include Moira Abbott, Maureen Andersen Berry, Earl Barlow, Lois Brezinski, Debbie Chase van der Bol, Shirley Garvin, A. George, Lorna Griggs, Ray McLaughlin, Joanne Sibley, Jeremy Sibley and Janet Walker.

Many of the scenes are instantly recognizable such as Joanne Sibley’s Fisherman at Hog Sty Bay and Walker’s The Powell Museum, Boggy Sand Road. Several of the works feature traditional Caymanian cottages, which are no longer standing, offering visitors important vista into Caymanian heritage and traditional architecture. This historical context will form the premise of the National Gallery’s extensive schools programme.

For more information about “A Legacy of Light” and for a complete programme of special lectures, workshops and family programming related to the exhibition, go to the National Gallery website

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Category: Culture, Visual Arts

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