I’m honored and delighted to be featured in the most recent Caribbean Quarterly journal, the flagship journal on Caribbean culture published by the University of the West Indies (UWI). This current issue features the strong Irish Jamaican connection, a connection that goes back for centuries, and one that any of us Irish who live here are so happy to acknowledge. It is available at UWI Regional Headquarters, Hermitage Road, Kingston 7 (876-970-3261), or at the UWI Bookshop.
The cover features a section of a 60′ diptich mural in Scotiabank, Mandeville.
Two other murals, an 80′ mural in the Donald Sangster Airport in Montego Bay of Jamaican life, and a 40′ mural in Starbucks, Liguanea Plaza, Kingston of the Lion of Judah.
Oil paintings and watercolors from gardens in both Jamaica and Ireland,
and the very lovely editor Kimberly Robinson-Walcott asked me to write an artist’s statement, which encouraged me to articulate why it is I paint, which is an important exercise in itself.
“I love how paint takes a life of its own, with the marks and tones and effects it can form if I can be free enough when applying it. Whether it’s oil paint or watercolor, there’s an infinite journey that can be taken with the aesthetics of mark-making and colour-work; the challenge is to maintain a fresh spontaneity within the framework of a recognizable form or scene.
My inspiration is always Nature and what’s around me, from the light on a distant landscape to the lines and shapes of a vine of hanging flowers to a still life of fruits. There’s a perfect spot between accurate drawing and loose brushwork, between sensitivity and spontaneity, between cool tones and a bright splash of colour. It’s that balance that I seek when I work. It can be elusive, and I make many mistakes, but it’s the joy that I feel when it works that keeps me coming back. With recent mural commissions I have followed the same principles, incorporating collage and glazes to introduce an element of contemporary social relevance. Ultimately I want each piece to manifest balance, to emit a feeling of harmony and serenity, to pay homage to the sense of the perfection that’s in the natural world.”