Local artist Maureen Lazarus will be displaying her most recent work in the Community Gallery venue at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands Dec. 3, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The show will run until Dec. 18.
Born and raised in Jamaica, Lazarus had a passion for art from a very young age, and this interest quickly led to her attending the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Kingston. After completing her four-year diploma in fine arts, she landed a job painting billboards.
During this time, personal tragedy struck, leading to a disruption in her artistic journey. However, after strong motivation from friends and family, she began to paint once more. This is when her creative evolution began, with new methods and ideas being produced, and her style has had an interesting change in mediums quite recently.
Her fascinating method, which she refers to as “recycling art,” was brought about when doing volunteer work at a school. “They gave me a large pile of old Compass newspapers,” she said. “I was going to throw them out, when this idea came to me.”
Lazarus realized that she could use the recycled newspapers to form papier-mâché leaves, and along with scraps of canvas, rope, acrylic paint, real leaves and sea grapes, create a modern and contemporary three-dimensional style. Her work, she said, is representative of the nature in our surrounding Caribbean setting. “There is nothing boring about it,” she added. “Every leaf is different.”
By using these recycled newspapers in her art, not only is she addressing the issue of recycling, but she believes this unique material makes her art more interesting and adds to the “flavor” of her style. In addition to using the newspapers in her art, Lazarus also creates jewelry, such as chains, collars and necklaces.
“NGCI Community Gallery in the Dart Auditorium enables both established and emerging artists an opportunity to curate their own exhibition and to perhaps present a body of work that is experimental, or outside their usual remit,” said NGCI Director Natalie Urquhart.
Keep an eye out, as Lazarus will also be exhibiting her work at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in January 2016.
This method of art will hopefully open the eyes of the community, as much as it has opened hers.