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‘I look at that picture and think wow. That’s me. I represent Bermuda’

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Smile please! Photographer Meredith Andrews, with world renowned muralist Andre Trenier and Denise Bowens-Tucker, whose smile inspired the mural. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

A mother’s smile at seeing her daughter perform at the Bermuda Day Parade is now shining over Hamilton through a new mural at the Cavendish Car Park.

The mural – created by Andre Trenier based on a photograph by Meredith Andrews – was formally unveiled this week as part of the City of Hamilton’s VIVID Public Arts Initiative.

One of the mural’s biggest fans is Denise Bowens-Tucker, whose face is immortalised in the piece.

“That picture is a joy for me,” she said. “I am out there. A lot of people know me, but don’t know about me.

“Through the grace of God, I have come this far. If it wasn’t for him, there would be no picture of me.”

Ms Bowens-Tucker said the mural was based on a photograph taken of her during the Bermuda Day Parade in 2019.

“My daughter was in the parade and I was on the sidelines,” she said.

“A couple of weeks ago I saw on Facebook that Meredith Andrews was looking for me, so I got her number and called her and she said that the Corporation of Hamilton was interested in putting my picture in Hamilton.”

She said that while she did not know initially where the mural would be placed, she was excited that the picture of her had been chosen.

“That smile, that face – there is a story and a journey behind that,” Ms Bowens-Tucker added.“

Ms Bowens-Tucker, whose picture also features at LF Wade International Airport, added: “I am a recovering addict. I have been clean for 13 years.

“If people would have told me 13 years ago that my face would be in the City of Hamilton or at the airport, I would have said ‘no’.”

Ms Bowens-Tucker loves the mural and now drives along Cavendish Road more often to catch a glimpse of her beaming smile.

“I never used to go that way. I always used to go around the curve to go to work, but since that started to be painted I go that way,” she said. “I look at that picture and think wow. That’s me. That’s actually me. I represent Bermuda.

“It shows that you do have some jolly faces in Bermuda. I love that picture. I really do.”

Since the mural has gone up, friends and strangers have approached her to tell her how much they love the image.

Smile high: Denise Bowens-Tucker is pictured with the mural that was inspired by her smile. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

“It’s an inspirational picture,” she added.

The mural also includes a poem, I Am Bermuda, by Andra Simons, a Bermudian writer and performer living in London, along with classic Bermudian images, including Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, loquats, a Bermuda kite and bicycle imagery captured by photographer Jayde Gibbons.

The mural is not the only one to be painted in Hamilton recently – another work by Mr Trenier was created during an art workshop last month on Church Street as part of the VIVID initiative.

The artwork, entitled Emancipation: Coming Together for Cup Match, depicts Cup Match revellers from the opposing teams, Sylvan Richards and Lisa Weekes, captured by local photographers Akil Simmons and Anthony Wade respectively.

Official mural unveiling for VIVID 2023 at Cavendish Car Park. Pictured: Denise Bowens-Tucker. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)
Pictured is world renowned muralist Andre Trenier with the mural inspired by Denise Bowens-Tucker’s smile. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

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Published May 03, 2023 at 7:56 am (Updated May 03, 2023 at 8:26 am)

‘I look at that picture and think wow. That’s me. I represent Bermuda’

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