Dready’s gonna deliver wraparound art for us all

A quality new exhibition featuring Cayman memories in Dready’s inimitable style awaits us at the National Gallery. 

It’s entitled Things that Exist only in my Fading Memory, explains Shane Arquart, the man behind the instantly-recognisable Dready. 

“It is a 360 degree panorama wrapping the Dart Auditorium, at the National Gallery, floor to ceiling 105 foot around in a single piece of art depicting Cayman buildings both old and new,” he tells us. 

“I was here in Cayman as a boy in the very early 70s, my father lived here and I returned to live in the early 90s so the art is made up of Cayman memories from those days. For instance in the middle of the art is the National Museum, but as it was when it was the courthouse because I have a memory of my step-grandfather, the then chief justice, standing at the balcony in his court gown and wig. 

“{It also is comprised of] memories from more recent times, like the Little Cayman Flight Island Air plane and things that exist today. There will be a version of the whole art for sale, it is 9 foot long though! Or people can purchase parts of the artwork; say somebody like the ‘old courthouse’ I can separate that out of the art and produce it.”  

 

Conquering the world  

The Dready character and his special world is now seen on artwork across the world, with the past few years having really seen a boost for the laid-back scallywag and his crew. Shane is happy with the success of his creation. 

“I could never even have guessed 5 years ago where dready would be today – I work hard at it from all the angles above and will see where it leads, eh,” Shane says. 

One imminent exciting development is that Dready will be launching in the UK at the end of April with a Caribbean-themed restaurant chain called Turtle Bay. 

“We [also] have our continuing relationship with Caribbean Canvas Company with whom we hope to grow as they do. Original art for people and places near and far.” 

During 2012, Dready appeared in an advertising campaign for Red Stripe here in Cayman, which made light of the political landscape and exhorted people to vote for the beer. And as we’re in election year, where does Dready stand? 

“Like me Dready doesn’t trust politics. But if there’s one thing Dready would stick into someone else’s manifesto it is the right to vote for everyone; leave the right to hold office to Caymanians but the right to vote be universal for anyone having lived in Cayman for three years. 

“It would change the ‘tone’ of politics and represent the interests of the whole country. But that’ll never happen: too many driveways would need to be paved come election time.” 

 

The exhibition runs from 6 March to 30 April at the Dart Auditorium, National Gallery of the Cayman Islands. 

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