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Bermudian artists add own spin to iconic whisky image

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Blue Label: Shanna Hollis redesigns Johnnie Walker’s iconic mascot for the Scotch company’s celebratory month (Photograph by Shanna Hollis)

Two Bermudians have put their own spin on an iconic whisky mascot for a programme highlighting local artists.

Shanna Hollis and Isaiah Camara redesigned individual statues of the iconic Johnnie Walker whisky, putting their own artistic styles on the classic figure.

Their redesigns will appear at several Bermuda Heroes Weekend Carnival events in June.

Ezekiel Stoneham, a branch manager at Burrows & Lightbourn, who also managed the project, said that Johnnie Walker encouraged the liquor store to “give back to the locals as much as possible”, particularly artists.

He said: “I’m just happy that they get the medium, and hopefully this is a springboard for both of them for other people to see and go ‘oh, this is what these guys can actually do’.”

Mr Stoneham added: “Johnnie Walker’s one of those brands where everybody sees it as their grandpa’s drink, so we want to breathe some new life into it.”

Shanna Hollis, right, with her Johnnie Walker statue alongside Randy “Chicken” Burgess, a car detailer who help with her design (Photograph supplied)

Mr Stoneham said that the empowerment project had been going on since 2019, to which the responses went “extremely well”.

He added that the Masterworks Museum of Art recommended Ms Hollis and Mr Camara for the project.

Ms Hollis, 25, said that her design was inspired by Moroccan tile art and incorporated Bermudian symbols such as moon gates and Bermudianas, as well as the colour blue.

She explained: “I really liked the colour blue — it reminded me of Bermuda and the textiles that came out of Morocco, so when the two came together it just felt very tranquil and soothing.”

Ms Hollis said her statue would be featured in Glow Bermuda, a carnival event on June 19 that uses a Moroccan theme, before finding its home outside the Masterworks building.

She added that the project, which took her two months to put together, was painted using an airbrush and car paint — two mediums she was not used to.

Ms Hollis credited her “awesome” success to the help of car detailer Randy “Chicken” Burgess

She added: “This is my favourite piece yet.”

Isaiah Camara redesigns Johnnie Walker’s iconic mascot for the Scotch company’s promotional month (Photograph supplied)

Mr Camara, 21, a tattoo apprentice at Smokin’ Joe’s Tattoo Parlour in Hamilton, said that the statue was a brand new medium for him that challenged his dexterity.

He explained: “I mostly use canvases and flat surfaces, so it’s completely different painting on something that is a moving object and has a shape that you have to work with.

“It’s almost like tattooing a person — you have to work with that person’s body part and I had to work with a statue.”

Mr Camara said that his statue incorporated Bermuda landmarks and tattoos on Johnnie’s hands and face.

He added that, while he didn’t have a theme, he wanted to showcase the styles he enjoyed, such as portrait work.

Mr Camara said: “I like the feel of urban art, but I also like to tie in a bunch of different styles — almost like mixed media.”

His Johnnie Walker statue will appear at the Wetta Party, another carnival event on June 19 at Snorkel Park, before it is installed at Ocean View Golf Course in Devonshire.

Promotional events for Johnnie Walker Month, such as cocktail parties and happy hour sales, will be announced throughout the month.

Isaiah Camara redesigns Johnnie Walker’s iconic mascot for the Scotch company’s promotional month (Photograph supplied)

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Published June 11, 2022 at 8:08 am (Updated June 11, 2022 at 8:08 am)

Bermudian artists add own spin to iconic whisky image

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