A painting by Jennifer Keats. *Image supplied
A painting by Jennifer Keats. *Image supplied

Four local artists are coming together for a show that celebrates Bermuda — both land and sea.

The Masterworks exhibition includes everything from a line drawing of bustling Reid Street and aerial photo of the island to intricate drawings of plants and bold paintings of marine life.

The mixed media exhibition — Island Narrative: Land & Sea —is part of the museum’s new 4+4=1 format that ties four artists to the same theme to form one show.

Those chosen to exhibit are Nick Silk, Chris Burville, Janet Percy and Jennifer Keats.

The show will hold its opening next Friday, February 15 at 5:30pm in the Nick Faries Gallery. It runs until March 6.

The Bermuda Sun caught up with the four artists to discuss their passion.

When did you know you wanted to be an artist?

It’s hard to say.Looking back, art was always there for me despite having no “formal” art background. In the mid-nineties I found the time to give it the attention it sought!

I never really knew that — my photography was simply another path I chose. Over the past few years I have been developing a real passion for capturing the world around me on camera.

I have always loved to draw, but it was not until 1980, when I was invited to show my work for the first time, that I began to take it seriously.

I knew in high school when it was time to apply to college. I loved the life of the artist and thought a career as an artist would lead to a fulfilling and exciting future. I’m still toying with the idea, I enrolled in a Business Studies course as I thought this was more practical. I was talking to someone in the parking lot who had signed up for an art certificate programme. I was thrilled to hear all the classes she was doing and realized that it was a clear indication that this would bring me joy. It was then that I made that final commitment to study art.

Describe the work you are submitting for this show.

The work I am submitting for this show is almost exclusively in line and watercolour. I work capturing live events and it is a celebration of Bermuda so it is a “happening” style.

This has been my focus developmentally for the last couple of years.

You are always looking for new ways to express and challenge yourself and the exploration of line gave me a new freedom and immediacy.

I am submitting my own Island Narrative, images shot from a plane, underwater, at night and more. I’d like to showcase the variety of Bermuda subjects I’ve photographed.

Janet Percy:
I am submitting three of my papier mâché wall-hung fish sculptures — a Nassau grouper, a hogfish and a queen triggerfish. I have made nearly 200 of these sculptures in the past eleven years, and I try to make my sculptures as realistic as possible, striving to impart a feeling of movement and grace which is a challenge in this medium. 

I am also submitting six plant portrait paintings, two of which are watercolours and the remainder are in coloured pencil. I have been a self-taught artist for most of my life, but since 2010 have attended several workshops to hone my drawing and painting skills and study coloured pencil techniques, and I am enjoying the challenge of attempting to show the wonders of nature with a fresh perspective.

I have painted a series of underwater still life. I have been off the island at school this last year and really missed the colour of the water here. I invested in an underwater camera and with the help of my husband who took a few of the photos I have worked from, along with combining other references, I have a collection of pieces that read as an underwater narrative.

Who are your biggest inspirations?

My biggest inspirations are derived from gallery visits — whether it is by local artists or foreign galleries. It is a constant fascination to observe the technique used by every artist. Of course Masterworks is a great catalyst. I enjoy being able to get up close and also sketch from, say, the original Pleisner or Ambrose Webster.

I’m inspired more by the desire to capture something beautiful, or ugly, that I see in the world around me. I believe we are all constantly inspired by each other and oursurroundings.

If had to mention just one photographer, it would be James Balog who has spent the last few years documenting the receding glaciers — someone who has utterly dedicated himself to showing the world the alarming and immediate effects of climate change.

My family has been very supportive and encouraging through the years, and also I am very fortunate to have a group of collectors of my sculptures who inspire me with their enthusiasm for my work.

I try to study a different artist each year. I have been researching Richard Diebenkorn.  I have implemented his method of creating one painting by combining several different references. I am inspired by any artist that works consistently and continues to exhibit. Inspiration is 90 per cent hard work so it is up to me to get working.