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True gems at Windjammer exhibition

By Nancy Acton

In a first-time pairing of two-dimensional art and craft, the Windjammer II Gallery in the Fairmont Hamilton Princess hotel is showcasing a wearable collection of jewellery designed to highlight the depth of talent on the island.

It is also a striking reminder of how much jewellers and others are inspired by the natural beauty of Bermuda and its gorgeous colours.

Visitors to the elegant gallery will quickly be reminded of the sea through the extensive use of blues and aquas, of the land through a range of greens, and of bright sunshine expressed in shades of yellow.

In this show, the working of colour is ingeniously interpreted in various media, from quilts to fibre art and jewellery, which is cleverly displayed in proximity to complementary paintings, thus demonstrating how art and craft are indivisible.

The five featured artists are Rebecca Little, Cindy Mitchell, Sheilagh Head, Lynn Morrell and Geralyn Counsell.

Mrs Mitchell’s jewellery is inspired by artist Trevor Todd’s aboriginal paintings and Gretchen Gurr’s black and white drawings of sea creatures, while Mrs Counsell’s silk and wool textiles are inspired by the sea.

Speaking of the current exhibition, entitled Wearable Art, gallery owner and artist Mrs Head said, “This is the first time we have done a high-end jewellery show inspired by the art within the gallery, and as such it is a unique exhibition. It really showcases the depth of talent we have on the island. Undiscovered treasures like young jeweller Rebecca Little will almost certainly succeed in a wider international market. It also shows how closely craft is related to two-dimensional art.”

In her own case Mrs Head, internationally renowned as an oil painter, has now ventured into jewellery making, in which she incorporates semi-precious stones, sea beads and shells.

“I don’t think of myself as a jeweller and never will,” she said. “I just think of it as reinterpreting my paintings using a different media. Using beads and crystals is just another lovely way of creating two-dimensional art.”

Professional artist Lynn Morrell is highly regarded for her exquisite jewellery and quilts, both of which are included in the show.

“There is definitely a connection between both,” Mrs Head said. “So many of her quilts are about how she experiences Bermuda. She is another artist whose work is much sought-after.”

In urging the public to visit Wearable Art before it comes down on May 29, Mrs. Head stressed how important it was to appreciate “truly Bermudian work” — created in Bermuda by residents of the island — in a market that is saturated with imported goods.

“The concept is totally Bermudian,” she said, noting that “one of the very few things we export from the island is the art of the island”.

Gallery hours are 10am to 5pm. Monday to Friday, and noon to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. For further information telephone 295-1783.