JAMAICA panels, Part 4

fishing panel

Acrylic on panel, 48″ x 48″

The fourth and final panel features Treasure Beach in St Elizabeth, but it could be any coastal fishing village in Jamaica. Stylized fish and a turtle fill the only boxes; the rest is open sea and sky, peaceful and restful.

Because the competition was abandoned, I had 4 panels on my hands and didn’t know what to do with them… but a good friend who runs a hospital for cancer patients, Dr Dingle Spence of The Hope Institute here in Kingston, was giving the place a face-lift, so I gave her the last two panels as a donation to a very worthy cause. I thought with their dreamy skies and soft blues they’d be a welcome addition to an environment that offers palliative care; something to take the mind off the drudgery and pain of dealing with cancer, for both the patients and the staff.

The other two panels went into storage, and I forgot about them for years, and then just before Christmas 2018 I remembered them and took them out, and to make a long story short, they were spotted by Mr Christopher Issa of Spanish Court Hotel and promptly bought by him to be displayed in his new S Hotel in Montego Bay. Not only that, but he commissioned another 4 panels, 3 of which are done. I’ll soon start the fourth…

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JAMAICA panels, Part 3

Downtown panel

Acrylic on panel, 48″ x 48″

The third and fourth panels were depicting places, this one Downtown, with landmark architecture, the ubiquitous taxis, and a push-cart man. I had the sky sweep through the two levels of Cityscape, uniting them and lifting them up, thinking as I was of a large public space filled with massive tapestries…

JAMAICA panels, Part 2

Green panel

Acrylic on panel, 48″ x 48″

The first two panels were formatted to read almost as a comic strip. Mini-paintings in every box speak to different aspects of Jamaican life that everyone can relate to, whether they’re born and raised in Jamaica, or are visitors discovering this beautiful island for the first time. So in this second panel (the Green panel), the hills and Blue Mountain coffee are featured; an agapanthus flower and one of the old-time country buses; a schoolgirl, and dancers, and Jimmy Cliff; a Carnival girl, a football, a pouie tree and a pineapple. All are painted with a limited and harmonious palette.

JAMAICA panels, Part 1

Red panel

Acrylic on reinforced panel, 48″ x 48″

Back in 2012 I painted 4 panels for a competition. Had I won, the 4 ‘designs’ would have been woven into 40 foot square tapestries and hung in a semi-public space, the foyer of what was to have been the new headquarters for Digicel, an Irish phone company here in the Caribbean. I designed the 4 panels to read a s a storyboard of Jamaican life, featuring athletes and music, fruits and trees, and lots more besides, in quintessential Jamaican colours and in simple shapes, so that they’d weave up well on a massive loom. On the day that all submissions were due, the tax authorities raided Digicel’s corporate offices and seized their computers at gunpoint. End of competition…the company decided to relocate to Miami, Florida, and that was that.