THE BEAUTY OF BERMUDA HAS INSPIRED ARTISTS WHO, IN TURN, HAVE CREATED SPECTACULAR WORKS OF ART. Bermuda possesses certain distinct characteristics — unique architecture, exotic foliage, breathtaking vistas and a quality of light unparalleled in the world. It is amazing how this variety creates such a diversity of styles, mediums and evolution in the arts, and not only the visual arts, but such luminaries as musician John Lennon, writer Mark Twain and playwright Eugene O’Neill, to name a few, have all gained inspiration from Bermuda. One of the earliest works of art Bermuda may have inspired was William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” written between 1610 and 1611. It is believed that the wreck of the Sea Venture in 1609 and the subsequent trials endured by its captain Sir George Somers directly influenced Shakespeare’s plot line. Since then, Bermuda has been a beacon for creative giants throughout history, spanning generations, mediums and interpretations. As one of the most remote inhabited islands on earth, the lack of pollutants in the atmosphere has allowed the island to enjoy a pure, untainted quality of light unrivalled anywhere else. This has proven to be a challenge, as many an artist has expressed frustration in capturing the island’s elusive light; but when successful, it is glorious. It is this characteristic that creates the unreal blues and turquoises that one finds in the colour of the water, the vibrant reds and oranges of the sunsets, or the lush greens from the flora. As Charles Hawthorne, 1920s American Impressionist, said, “The colour of the sound and sea are indescribable—all the varying shades of emerald, emeraude, cerulean and deep blue…” E. Ambrose Webster, whose Providencetown, Massachusetts, art school was the rival to the more conservative Hawthorne, declared, “Sunlight near the equator loses its pale violet tones of the northern latitudes and approaches an incandescence.” Spanning canvas, literature, film and the stage, Bermuda’s scenic beauty is beyond comparison. The traditional geometric architecture is another source of artistic inspiration, attracting many of the modernist artists from the early 1900s, such as French cubist Albert Gleizes, who was captivated by the rectangular towers of Government House. Another early 20thcentury artist who was inspired by Bermuda’s architecture was Marsden Hartley, who painted Movement, Bermuda 1917. In this revolutionary piece there is hidden a pink cottage that showcases the epitome of what is recognised as distinctly “Bermudian” today. As a whole, the Bermudian artistic experience has received the most international attention due to the works of the great Winslow Homer and the two vanguards of American modern art: Marsden Hartley and Charles Demuth. Whether it’s the past, present or future, the artistic experience in Bermuda is as strong today as it ever was and doesn’t seem to lose its charm no matter how many times it is interpreted through the generations. Looking forwards, Bermuda’s artistic evolution is ongoing, and with such a prestigious history as its foundation, who knows where it will go next? One thing is certain: Whatever direction it takes will aid in shaping the community and culture, propelling us into a new age. Museums, Institutions and Galleries The following is a selection of cultural venues and public art sites. Check with each venue for current exhibitions. The Bermuda Arts Centre at Dockyard. Established in 1984, the Arts Centre is a nonprofit registered charity that reflects the diverse creativity of the art community in Bermuda. Five resident artists are happy to chat about their work, and regular exhibits of other local artists are staged every six weeks. The gift shop sells original works of art, and prints and workshops are held regularly. (234-2809, artbermuda.com) The Bermuda Craft Market. The Bermuda Craft Market in Dockyard has the largest collection of Bermuda-made crafts and products on the island. As you wander around the historic building you will see craftsmen at work. All items are available for purchase and include Bermuda banana dolls, sterling and 14-karat gold-filled jewellery, pottery, candles, handmade soaps, sea glass pendants, cedar bowls, jams and jellies, and lots more. (234- 3208, bermudacraftmarket.com) Bermuda Historical Society. Housed in the 1814 home of William B. Perot, Bermuda’s first postmaster, is a collection of Bermudamade silver, furniture and paintings, fine china, maps and coins. Ask the curator to show you the letter sent from George Washington asking for Bermuda’s help during the American Revolution. (295-2487, firstname.lastname@example.org) Bermuda National Gallery. With a permanent collection spanning several centuries and geographical regions, you may be pleasantly surprised during your visit to the Bermuda National Gallery. Exhibitions include historical and contemporary artwork, with The Ondaatje Wing dedicated to the narrative on how the visual arts have developed in Bermuda. Visit it today. The Bermuda National Gallery is conveniently located in City Hall & Arts Centre in Hamilton, beside the main bus terminal and a short walk from the ferry. Admission is $5 for non-members; seniors and children under 12 free. Take away an art book as a memento of your visit. (295-9428, bng.bm) Bermuda National Trust. The Bermuda National Trust is a charity established in 1970 to preserve natural, architectural and historic treasures, and to encourage public appreciation of them. There are 70 properties under the trust’s care. All programmes and activities are focused in the key areas of preservation, education and advocacy. Its purpose is to ensure that Bermuda’s unique heritage remains protected for future generations. (236-6483, bnt.bm) Bermuda Society of Arts. Often referred to as “The People’s Art Gallery,” the BSOA showcases local artists in four separate gallery spaces. They host a new show every three to four weeks, have a variety of workshops available and celebrate the diverse range of artistic talent that Bermuda has to offer. (292-3824, bsoa.bm) The Birdsey Studio. Jo Birdsey Linberg, daughter of Bermuda’s first modern artist, Alfred Birdsey, painted for many years with her father at The Birdsey Studio before his death in 1996. Today, she continues the family tradition. Created predominately in watercolour, her impressionistic landscapes, figurative paintings and whimsical animals reflect her mentor’s artistic legacy through simple lines and Oriental-inspired brushwork; but they also establish Jo’s own artistic niche and creative stamp. Her watercolours have been exhibited in Bermuda and overseas, whilst collected and commissioned internationally. Jo’s paintings reflect her love of life and Bermuda. Her father’s spirit is alive and well in her humour, hospitality and creative energy. The Birdsey Studio can be found in the back garden of the family home, located at 5 Stowe Hill in Paget. It remains a special place for many, with its tranquil natural setting and rather unusual appearance. Studio hours are 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Appointments are recommended. (236-6658, email@example.com) Crisson & Hind Fine Art Gallery. Home to a fascinating collection of carved sculptures from Zimbabwe. (295-1117, crissonandhind.com) Desmond Fountain. An essential destination for art lovers, this gallery in the Elbow Beach Hotel showcases international and local artists’ works alongside the world-famous sculptor Desmond Fountain. Fountain creates collectible bronzes, etchings and paintings; and his larger works can be seen throughout the island. (292-3955, desmondfountain.com) Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio. Come see hot molten glass, like light on the move, as creations happen. Relax in their comfy theatre as you experience the expertise and drama. Lampwork artists prepare small sculptural collectible creatures, many native to the island. Shop in the colourful Glass Gallery at One Maritime Lane in Royal Naval Dockyard, open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and till 7 p.m. when ships are docked. Overseas shipping via FedEx is available. Dockyard Glassworks Glass Gallery & Working Studio are recipients of TripAdvisor’s Excellent Awards. (234-4216, dockglass.com) Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation. Kaleidoscope Arts Foundation is the first collective guild in Bermuda for the creation and teaching of art in an environment that is inspiring and accessible to the entire community. Adult and children’s art classes offered. (542-9000, kaf.bm) Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art. Masterworks is Bermuda’s only purpose-built museum and is home to over 1,400 works of Bermuda-inspired art by such famous names as Winslow Homer, Albert Gleizes and Georgia O’Keeffe. Local artists are also on display throughout the year. Children’s art classes are available, and on one Saturday of the month, Super Saturday offers free art activities to all. The museum shop sells prints and original local art, and Homer’s Café serves baked goods, gluten-free goods and lunch items. The museum is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., with Homer’s opening Monday through Saturday at 9 a.m., and Sundays at 11 a.m. Located in the Botanical Gardens, 183 South Shore Road, Paget. (299-4000, bermudamasterworks.com) National Museum of Bermuda. Explore 500 years of history at the National Museum of Bermuda, housed within the island’s largest fort. The 15-acre property includes British military buildings of the Keep citadel and the award-winning Commissioner’s House. Inside its limestone walls, learn about Bermuda’s links with the West Indies and the Azores, trans- Atlantic slavery, and the island’s defence through two World Wars. Don’t miss artist Graham Foster’s 1,000-square-foot Hall of History mural. On the lower grounds, visit Shipwreck Island, an exhibit showcasing Spanish gold and other artefacts. Kids will love the Museum Playground, complete with a slide and 70-foot moray eel. Open April through November from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last admission at 4 p.m.); December through March from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (last admission at 3 p.m.). Free for children under 16. (234-1418, 234 1333; nmb.bm) Nicholas Lusher Fine Antiques and Fine Art. By appointment only. Nicholas deals in Bermudian, European and American art; sculptures; maps; prints; books; coins and much more. (236-8193, 917-698-2090; firstname.lastname@example.org, nicholaslusher.com) Picturesque Gallery. The Picturesque Gallery showcases Bermudian photographer Roland Skinner’s best work spanning a 50-year career. Roland’s images of Bermuda truly capture the unique colours and contours of the island, its flamboyant sunsets, lush floral landscapes and sweeping aerial views. Located inside the A.S. Cooper Main store at¡59 Front Street in Hamilton, archival colour prints in various sizes are available from the gallery along with three best-selling books and a number of unique gift items featuring Roland’s images. (295-3961, ext. 407; picturesquebermuda.com) The Windjammer 2 Gallery. The gallery has been synonymous with fine art since its inception in 1985. Sheilagh Head with her Gallery Manager, Danjou Anderson, and Alexia Cooper have assembled the finest collection of original art by Bermuda’s professional artists. (295-1783, windjammer2.com) The World Heritage Centre. The Centre provides a walk-through of Bermuda’s early history from the Age of Discovery to the U.S. Civil War. Interpretative panels and audios describe Bermuda before the English arrived, when New World explorers used Bermuda as a navigational marker, when mariners dubbed the island the “Isle of Devils” and when castaways explored its fruitful shores. Bermuda’s historic links to Jamestown and the first settlers are illustrated. Upstairs there is a “time tree,” interactive touchscreens featuring World Heritage Site information, fortifications, military bases and the film A Stroll Through St. George’s. (297-8043, sgf.bm)
Published by HCP Media. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://experiencebermuda.customtravelmags.com/article/Arts%3A+Natural+Arts/2479105/301298/article.html.