Award-winning artist David Bridgeman, whose art is frequently on exhibit in Cayman, has donated two works to the permanent collection of the National Gallery.
“Untitled (Red and Yellow),” an 18×24 inch acrylic painting, and “The Three Towers,” an etching, are the most recent additions to the public art collection, which has more than 200 pieces spanning some 50 years.
The works were previously exhibited in Bridgeman’s first solo show at the National Gallery, titled “David Bridgeman – The Road Not Taken,” in December 2014.
Mr. Bridgeman has had a long-standing relationship with the National Gallery, often donating artwork or his time.
“All the pieces of mine in the National Gallery [are] pieces I’ve donated,” he said. “In a situation where I’ve been given the opportunity to have a solo exhibition at the National Gallery, it is nice to offer a piece as a keepsake for the gallery and a record of what I’ve done or participated in at the gallery.
“The gallery is very much a part of my life and artistic career and it’s nice to be able to give back.”
In 2014, Mr. Bridgeman was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by the National Gallery, and in 2003 he received an Artistic Achievement Award for art and art education from the Cayman National Cultural Foundation.
Natalie Urquhart, gallery director and curator, was grateful for the donation. She said in a statement that the gallery’s permanent collection “lies at the very heart of our art museum and mission to promote the appreciation and practice of the visual arts of and in the Cayman Islands.
“Mr. Bridgeman’s work will now be available for current and future audiences to view, enjoy and appreciate, and we are most thankful for his generosity in recognizing this.”
One of the donated works, “Untitled (Red and Yellow),” is featured in the current exhibition, “All Access – A Journey Through the National Gallery Permanent Collection.”
With this piece, Mr. Bridgeman said, he wanted to “use a lot of drawing and layered paint so that it forms a cloudy, mystical scene with swirling mists around trees, woodlands and hills.”
Mr. Bridgeman said his work is strongly autobiographical, and that he draws inspiration from the landscapes of England, where he grew up, and of the Cayman Islands, where he has lived for the past 27 years.
“A lot of the pieces are developmental,” he said. “It isn’t meticulously planned. One piece of work develops from the next.”
He experiments with many different mediums, including sculpture, but said that he always comes back to his love of oil painting.
The National Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Extended Saturday hours are now 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.nationalgallery.org.ky, or call 945-8111.