Police bail for Cayman Brac artist Ronald “Foots” Kynes was extended Wednesday for a second time since the sculptor’s July arrest for alleged obscene publications.
Mr. Kynes appeared at the Cayman Brac Police Station in the morning for his scheduled hearing and sat down with officers for an interview. At this time, he said police had him sign off on a bail extension for Oct. 16.
He has not been charged.
The artist was detained by police on July 18 after refusing to remove a series of nude sculptures displayed on his property and publicly visible in Cayman Brac.
The sculptures in question have fueled public debate for their depictions of homosexuality and religious iconography. Mr. Kynes said they were on display for at least three months before his arrest.
When asked by officers to describe images of his art, he said, “I explained, my art is an expression of my thoughts, feelings and emotions.”
He does not plan to hire a lawyer for his defense. However, he said he does plan to file a lawsuit against the Cayman Islands government.
“I don’t need a lawyer and I don’t want a lawyer. I’ve done nothing wrong,” he said.
Mr. Kynes questioned the legal definition of obscenity. He pointed to a painting recently donated to the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre and featured in local media that depicts a topless mermaid.
“I asked the police lady, ‘what do you consider obscenity? Consider a painting with bare breasts and erect nipples,’” he said.
“This law is vague. This thing could be thrown to pieces in the court of law.”
The Cayman Islands Penal Code prohibits the distribution or public exhibition of obscene writings, drawings, paintings, emblems or “any other object tending to corrupt morals.” The court may order destruction of the material regardless of whether there has been a conviction.
A petition against Mr. Kynes’s installations was started several weeks ago on Change.org by a group called “Cayman Brackers United,” asking government “to protect the privacy, rights, reputations, and freedoms of everyone in our community, especially children, from obscene and offensive ‘public expressions’ that intentionally threaten Public Morality and Public Order, and are in breach of the Penal Code.”
While the petition does not name Mr. Kynes, it features an image of his sculptures. The petition has not reached its goal of 200 signatures.