Blue Dragons in recovery mode

In the months since Hurricane Ivan The National Gallery has been engaged in an ongoing recovery operation to determine the status of 17 5ft-long fibreglass Blue Iguanas.

These ‘Dragons’ as they are affectionately known are part of the Blue Dragon Project, an ongoing art and educational programme of The National Gallery in partnership with the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, aimed at raising levels of awareness of this endangered species, states a press release.

Gallery staff and local artist Mr. Horacio Esteban have travelled to the 17 locations on Grand Cayman to assess any damage that the brightly coloured creatures may have suffered.

‘Some damage was sustained by the large Iguanas, most of whom were situated along the waterfront,’ says Deputy Director Natalie Coleman. ‘And a couple appear to have literally walked up the beach.’ Two dragons ‘Blu’ by artist Chris Mann and ‘Sonita’ by Nasaria Suckoo Chollette, received damage to their tails which has since been mended. One Dragon is confirmed missing. ‘Cosmos’, painted by artist Bridget McPartland, was situated at Coe Beach, Bodden Town and is feared to have been carried out to sea. The 14 remaining dragons are confirmed to be in great shape.

Mr. Esteban is also engaged in installing educational plaques along side each iguana designed to raise further awareness about the Blue Iguana breeding programme and local artists involved in the project.

Mr. Jeremy Walton, a partner with Appleby Spurling Hunter whose firm adopted ‘Arti’ by artist Hermes Solomon-Hydes commented, “The Partners and staff of Appleby Spurling Hunter are very pleased to be associated with the Blue Dragon project and are relieved that all but one of the sculptures survived Ivan and continue to serve the objective of promoting such a worthy cause.”

Other Blue Dragons were kindly adopted by Walker’s, the Dart Foundation, Bank Austria, Butterfield Bank, The Ritz Carlton, Deidre Billes, Andrew and Jane Moon and Family, James and Leslie Bergstrom and Harriet Hunter.

For information on this programme call the National Gallery at 945 8111 or email [email protected].