The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas will host a retrospective entitled, Love, Loss and Life. The exhibition opens on April 27th and runs through October 22nd, 2017 and features over a hundred works spanning from 1992 to 2016. Works are drawn from numerous private, local and international collections. The gallery is located at Villa Doyle, West and West Hill Street, Nassau, The Bahamas. More information can be found at www.nagb.org.bs
Farewell Ophelia – October 2015
For over 15 years you have been such an important part of my creative life. I often thought that I would have loved to see you go on forever, as you seemed to move through time like an eternal upbeat young lady. But at the same time I was afraid that would eventually come to an end.
That end came on July 9th, 2015. I was in France and thought, with sadness, that I would not be able to come back to see you one more time and to say good-bye.
When I finally arrived in Long Island, I got on the old yellow school bus heading to your precious church. Mixed emotions occupied my mind during the twenty minute journey. I was happy to have made it, and sad, as I knew it would be the last time I was going on a trip to meet with you. All these memories were filling up my thoughts, and while watching the other occupants of the bus, who I am sure were wondering who I was and what was I doing there, I was trying to guess who was who among your big and lovely family. I finally got to meet everyone and put names to the faces on all of your children that you talked so proudly of for so many years.
It was a lovely service, filled with love and respect and laughter, hearing all these stories which are so much a part of my inspiration. It was so much “you”. You were there I am sure singing away with us, well, I honestly should say with them, the ones who can sing.
Your faith was so strong and uncompromised that I am sure you are reunited with Betty. God bless the two of you and keep you together forever.
On my side I will miss you and treasure my memories with you forever.
You will be eternal in my heart and art.
Rest in peace.
Louis Taylor – January 2016
My encounter with Louis Taylor was one of those moments in life that just happened, unprepared and spontaneous.
During one of my many adventures in search of subjects, I was walking down the street in Seymours, Long Island, when my attention drifted towards a little blue cottage, typically Bahamian, and also, as often is in the out Islands, very run down.
This was a witness of the past and living proof of the many decades of rough out island life. Brutal sun, hurricane force winds, and salt air were the culprits that led to the condition of this lovely cottage. This was enough to trigger my interest in this place and so I ventured onto the property. Suddenly, Mr.Louis Taylor appeared. He was wearing a blue striped shirt and on his head a little white hat, which seemed to have been through the same rough weather as the cottage. My interest suddenly switched from that run down home to the man before me.
He was easy to talk to with a big generous smile. Humility and pride were pouring out of his eyes and face. While he was talking, I couldn’t help being distracted by his shirt that matched the blue horizontal stripes of the cottage siding. His strong hands told no lies about the hard working life that the out islands provide.
We spoke for a while and before we parted I took photos of him to help me remember that moment. I promised that I would be back to visit.
I never did anything with these photos, never painted his portrait because I wanted to go back to get to know him better as I truly believe that the better you know your subjects the better you paint them.
The following year I returned to Seymours. To my disappointment the cottage was boarded up. No one was in sight. I never saw Mr. Taylor again and even today I still wonder what became of him.
A few years passed and I lost hope of meeting him again, I remembered the photos I took and made the decision to immortalize him on paper. I wasn’t completely sure if my portrayal of who he seemed to me would do him justice but I knew I had to try to paint him as I remember him, a humble and proud man.