A new art piece is doing its part in welcoming visitors to the Cayman Turtle Farm.
In April, Joseph Betty was commissioned by the Turtle Farm to make the sculpture, which depicts three turtles swimming through coral, and has already been proving very popular with visitors, especially children.
A tour guide and bus driver, Mr. Betty is also an artist and writer whose works include poetry, paintings and sculptures.
Mr. Betty said the sculpture is called “The Homecoming,” and depicts a family of turtles who all come from the Cayman Turtle Farm, but after meeting up again in the ocean have decided to come back to the Cayman Islands again to make it their home.
“[Cayman Turtle Farm Managing Director] Tim Adam suggested the turtles should be swimming through Elkhorn Coral, because this kind of coral, and the turtles, have been going since the age of the dinosaurs,” Mr. Betty explained.
He is the first person to be specially commissioned by the Turtle Farm to make a sculpture, and it is his biggest project so far.
“The whole sculpture weighs more than 5,000 pounds,” said Mr. Betty.
“It is made out of concrete with a framework of steel bars and galvanized mesh. The idea was to make it as strong and sturdy as possible,” he continued.
“We transported into its place by a truck and the ‘turtle handler,’ a special piece of equipment for lifting large turtles.”
Acknowledging the contributions of the extended Turtle Farm staff who helped him to set it in place, Mr. Betty expressed his thanks to a few individuals in particular.
“I couldn’t have finished it in such a short time without Carley Jackson, who helped to lacquer the turtles, and Keeble Knight who contributed to the technical aspects of the structure’s form, to make sure it wouldn’t collapse,” said Mr. Betty.