Shapes, lines and divinity at BSoA
Four artists, four different styles, all on show at the Bermuda Society of Art. Ingrid Bothelo, Alice Coutet, Dawn Johnston and Carlos Santana have hung their work in separate exhibits in the studios of the gallery at City Hall. They spoke with The Royal Gazette about it.
Q: How did you get interested in art? Any particular mentors? Have you had any formal training?
IB: I have always loved art for as long as I can remember. It was always my favourite class – from preschool to college. I studied fashion in college and fashion illustration just happened to be one of my favourite courses. I have not had any formal training; I do believe it's a God-given gift.
AC: I’ve always been interested in art. For as long as I can remember when I open my eyes in the morning I look at how shapes and spaces connect and then I draw them in my mind. The only training I have had is in high school and college from my teacher, Mrs Butler. She was great!
DJ: I have always been interested in creating art. I was introduced to paint, crayons and markers in nursery school and they blew my mind. I studied art in high school but then naturally, I went on to do law. Art snuck back into my life while I was having children and during [the pandemic], became a permanent extension of me.
Q: Is this your first exhibit? If not, when/where have you shown your work before?
IB: I'm excited to say that this is my very first solo show. Over the years I have shown my art at several women's conferences, but usually I show and sell my art on social media.
AC: I’ve exhibited at the Bermuda Society of Arts, Masterworks, The Art Centre in Dockyard and various events in Bermuda and Surrey, England.
DJ: This is my first solo exhibition at BSoA but I have shown in members’ shows at BSoA before.
Q: Describe your work. What medium do you work in?
IB: My work is mixed medium with mostly sea glass. I love working with sea glass, because I am able to convey movement and emotion with the translucent frosty pieces.
AC: My artwork consists of contrast, definite lines and vibrant colours. My predominant medium is acrylic. Initially I was trained in oil but switched to acrylic soon after my children were born so that they could touch the paintings without getting paint on them.
DJ: I am a portrait creator, inspired by the divinity of the human spirit. My current favourite medium is oil paint but I used to paint in acrylic. Every now and again I find myself creating mixed media works because I love the additional dimension that it offers and I enjoy exploring how the different media play with each other. I love oils because of the lustre and depth that they give images.
CS: I use mainly acrylic, which is very out of the box for me as my medium is [usually] pen and ink. This particular showcase is called Pretty Little Fears because for all the pretty and great ideas that I have, I always am fearful of how my pretty idea may be received. But … feel the fear and do it anyway.
Q: What is your favourite piece of your work in the show?
IB: It's very hard to choose because I love them all! I would have to say the Gombeys however, I totally enjoyed creating the piece called, It's a Lovely Day Today. While designing this one I could not help but imagine these two ladies joyfully walking and dancing to Ella Fitzgerald's song It's a Lovely Day Today. This piece of art puts a big smile on my face every time I look at it.
AC: My favourite piece in the show is entitled God’s Armour. This piece was inspired by the Bible text that states that in order to face the world we should put on God’s armour. I have illustrated this Bible text by showing my children on the top of a mountain, wearing specific pieces of armour and the sun rising behind them. I think it’s important to visualise God’s word, so I will be creating more pieces like this.
DJ: My series is entitled Hidden in Plain Sight and explores the indigenous concept of divinity as can be found in the human and how that human is inseparable from nature. I am deeply connected to all the pieces in my series but I think if I must name a favourite it would be Warrior’s Peak because it balances the spirit of the warrior and camaraderie.
Q: How many pieces are you showing? How long did it take you to create the work?
IB: I am showing 18 pieces, which took me approximately three months to create.
AC: There are 21 pieces altogether. Three were created by my children.
DJ: The series consists of five pieces, each 36in by 48in inches. All five pieces took me three weeks to complete which was crazy for me … normally it takes me a minimum of three weeks to do just one, average sized painting.
CS: I have 25 pieces of art in the gallery
Pretty Little Fears, Hidden in Plain Sight, Still in Wonderland and Seafrost and Flowers are showing at the Bermuda Society of Arts until December 6. For more information: bsoa.bm