Over the past 2 years, I’ve gotten to know the artist Chantal Bethel well. I’ve spent many hours talking to her, watching her & photographing her working in her studio and she’s also given me some of the best advice as an artist.
She dabbles in all mediums, from oils and acrylic paints to 10 ft sculptures.
So when she called and asked me to photograph some stunning sculptures she was about to send off to Nassau, to be included in Transforming Spaces –Fibre, which is an annual Art exhibition that is open to artists of all forms. This year’s theme was Fibre. I couldn’t say no.
I was interested in seeing what she had created.
Below is a brief statement by Chantal
” “The Royal”
Sculpted forms by Chantal E.Y. Bethel,
With these two sculptures, I play with the word “Royal” which is the name of the palm used to create them.
My love affair with the Royal Palm tree began some six years ago as I was walking along Spanish Main Drive where I live and encountered what would become my material for sculpting. I became totally captivated by something that appeared totally ordinary – the leaves from the crown shaft of the Royal Palm tree. This ordinary yet magnificent piece of nature is most of the time discarded.
The process is simple:
I see, I feel the energy of the palm,
I connect with it… the spirit of nature reveals itself.
It is about seeing beyond what is there, giving room to my intuition. I then draw upon my vision. At this point, the challenge for me is to give these primitive forms humanist content.
The sculpted forms are flat. In this case the front mimic a queen and a king, the back represent their origin – the royal palm tree.
“The Royals” will be shown at Doongalik Studios and Gallery, Village Road, Nassau during Transforming Spaces 2012
Primary Medium: Royal Palm
Pyrography (wood burning)
Sizes: 5 feet and 4 feet 10″
I love that she has the insight and creative ability to transform what is essentially is a waste product of a plant and create from it such a regal structure. The play with words and the intricate detail which she achieves with a soldering pen truly transforms this into a bejeweled work of art.
To take part in the Transforming Spaces Art Tour The dates are March 24th and 25th. Tickets are still available at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, 328-5800, and at Doongalik Art Studios, 394-1886.
The Tour leave 10am sharp from NAGB.