David Hartwell photographs native plants in Grand Cayman. - Photo: Courtesy of National Gallery of the Cayman Islands
David Hartwell

Two Los Angeles-based artists will share their exploration of Cayman’s native flora during a free lecture Thursday evening, 11 July, at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands.

Film-maker Bill Ferehawk and photographer David Hartwell have been collaborating with the gallery, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands and local experts to create a series of large photographic portraits of Caymanian plant life. Following Thursday’s presentation, the images from the ‘Homegrown’ project will be displayed at the National Gallery.

“Plants are powerful visual markers of a place and a culture. The artists are interested in elaborating on this connection, drawing upon a long tradition of botanical paintings and photographic images of plants,” explained National Gallery Director Natalie Urquhart.

“Their goal is to create a series of impressive and emblematic portraits of the Cayman Islands from its native flora.”

The men have worked with local plant experts Ann Stafford, Stuart Mailer of the National Trust, and Nick Johnson of Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park.

“Their lecture will touch on their experiences in Cayman to date and the wider project concept, but will also include an overview of the many international projects that they have been associated with,” Urquhart said.

Bill Ferehawk

National Trust director Nadia Hardie said the exhibit honours Cayman’s heritage.

“The ‘Homegrown’ exhibition will be an extraordinary way for residents and visitors alike to celebrate Cayman’s rare and indigenous flora, many of which were culturally significant to our nation’s history and heritage,” she said.

Ferehawk has been featured in the Whitney Museum, Walker Art Center and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. He has also received numerous grants for his work, including funding from the Graham Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Hartwell is a photographer, animator and motion graphics artist who has worked for IBM, Disney, Microsoft and Discovery, among others.

The lecture begins at 6pm on Thursday. For more information, visit www.nationalgallery.org.ky.