Reshaping nature’s artwork

It takes the imagination and
insight of a man with an artistic mind to improve on one of nature’s original
sculptures.

But that is what North Side
resident Kenny Ebanks has accomplished with his one-of-a-kind driftwood pieces,
which clearly speaks a story.

Making a comeback to the artistic
world after 32 years, his abstracts are adorning the tables of local functions,
catching the eyes of art lovers and being displayed at art galleries.

His most striking feature of
driftwood art is a lizard, but others like Pre MckvBus, Govna De Tal-a, Miq M
dem and a mystical piece called Sheba the African Queen all tell a tale with
its own charm, which captivates viewers’ attention.

A construction worker by
profession, Kenny grew up in North Side honing his artistic skills ever since
he was a young lad. Today he works out of a little studio in the back yard of
his home in North Side. Besides art, he also does a bit of farming.

Due to humble beginnings like most
Caymanian children who found pleasure in making their own toys from whatever
materials nature offered, Kenny’s passion for art graduated from that venue.

His first painting of the old
wattle and daub Presbyterian Church in North Side, won him his first art
competition at age 11.

It would not be until the
construction boom in Cayman had slowed down that Kenny was “Driven to Abstraction”
in assorted weather beaten, sea chiselled sculptures.

His source of inspiration came from
foraging the beachfronts and the things he found day-by-day that stirred his imagination.

“I love walking on the beach collecting
unusual material, but what they will turn out to be; I have no idea at this
time. They just take shape as I go along,” he said.                                                                                          
 

 Kenny’s creations were so popular at the
recent Agriculture Show, he was asked if they could be used as table centre pieces
for the awards presentation.

The time it takes to create a piece
varies said Kenny. “If I do something with it today, tomorrow it might take a
different shape. It is not production art, every piece is unique. Something
catches my eye but the initial sight never ends up as what I saw it. Sometimes
I cut one piece off and it changes.”

Kenny also said there is no special
time for working on his art, “Sometimes I will work all night just to create a
piece.”

For those interested in following
in his footsteps, Kenny said, “If you discover art is your passion; work on it
and push it to the limit, if you get stuck, work with a different approach.’’

CAYMANLIFEKennyEbanksSTORY

A unique work of art by Kenny Ebanks.
Photo: Jewel Levy