Displaced gallery settling in to new home
The latest incarnation of the Windjammer Gallery is thriving in its new home after relocating from the Hamilton Princess&Beach Club.
Friends and supporters of the gallery appear optimistic after the Windjammer 3’s successful reception at their new location, in Bluck’s on Front Street.
“They were all relieved that we finally got a space,” said the gallery’s owner and director, Danjou Anderson. “It was incredible.”
Mr Anderson credits his success to the artists.
“I know sometimes that people think that impressionism, traditional paintings of Bermuda, these landscapes and these coastals, some people think they’re boring, but those are my top sellers.
“But beyond them being top sellers, they’re done by really accomplished artists.”
Mr Anderson described leaving the hotel as “traumatising”.
“Friends of the gallery were empathetic when we had to close at the Princess,” he said. “I was unemployed from the very first of July right until we opened on Wednesday. I was in a complete state of panic. I wondered if I’d have a job. My job became trying to find a space for the gallery.
“We’ve carried almost 60 artists in here and when they knew about the closing, they panicked. Where do you show? Aside from the Bermuda Society of Arts, Arts Centre at Dockyard and Masterworks when they have their retail show, there isn’t a gallery in Hamilton.”
As part of Hamilton Princess&Beach Club’s $100 million renovations, its Bermuda collection was sold to make way for the personal collection of modern art belonging to the hotel’s owners, the Green family.
Mr Anderson is a fan of the collection.
“I lean toward the Green collection,” he said. “They have a contemporary collection, a very expressionist collection.
“Having said that, for public art, it’s a bit disappointing. Not just for me as a dealer, but for the guests. I had a couple in here today who were staying at the Princess. They said this was their 27th visit. They were lamenting. They came here looking for me. They asked me what happened to the local art. They thought that we were responsible.
“It’s always the same thing. They don’t like it because it doesn’t look like Bermuda to them.
“With us having to leave the Princess, yeah, it was sad and it still is and if they ever asked me to come back I would say yes.
“I liked that environment. You’re in the middle of visitors.
“We will miss the folks at the princess, the guests of the hotel. Even if it was about 20 or 30 per cent of our sales, that was a big chunk of our sales.”
Mr Anderson said that about 70 per cent of their sales were to a local clientele.
“People argue that Bermudians don’t buy paintings of Bermuda, they do,” he said.
He added that he was looking to attract a new, younger client base.
“We still have people looking for Bermuda works of art, paintings that are of Bermuda,” he said. “One of the things that was really expressed [at the reception] by artists and collectors was that there’s now a retail gallery in Hamilton. That was a big theme. The other big thing was the relief that there was a gallery that has this quality of art.
“I will continue to carry wonderful impressionist landscapes of Bermuda because that is a big seller for me. Having said that, you will see an introduction of some new art.
“We say this thing, ‘contemporary art’. It’s all contemporary. These are all living artists that are painting today, so it’s all contemporary art, but it’s expressionism versus impressionism and abstracts versus realism.”
Bermuda as a subject matter is really desirable for many people.
“Typically this room represents the top-selling artists of Windjammer,” Mr Anderson said. “This is representative of who the top sellers are in Bermuda. We probably sell some of the leading professional artists here.”
There are 57 works “saloon-hung” in the small gallery room, with space for more.
Diana Amos, Stephen Card, Sharon Wilson, Otto Trott and Sheilagh Head are among the artists on show.
Allan Federer, the general manager of the Hamilton Princess&Beach Club, said: “The retail stores have been closed since July when the hotel started work on the new spa and retail corridor, which are being developed as part of the ongoing $100 million renovations at the hotel.
“Hamilton Princess currently is accepting expressions of interest from local and international retail stores.
“The exciting new retail corridor will open in summer 2016 and at this time, no retail stores have been selected.”
Thomas predicts exodus of unskilled workers
One of two quarantine breach cases closed
Cecil G. Smith (1935-2020)
New owner takes over temping agency
From Elton to a life on island
Low rainfall affects summer crop harvest
Take Our Poll