Cayman artist embraces her creative expression on Brac

Artist Betty Christian showcases her latest painting featuring Cayman traditions, titled ‘Conch Season’.

There’s something undeniably charming about places and things that remind us of simpler times. Cayman Brac is doing that, and more, for some Grand Cayman residents looking to relive that time of their lives.

Located 97 miles from Grand Cayman, the laid-back and tranquil little island has a population of about 2,000.

Artist, sculptor and tiler Betty Christian moved to Cayman Brac after carrying out tiling work there following 2008’s devastating Hurricane Paloma.

“I fell in love with Cayman all over again,” said Christian,  54, adding that the Brac reminds her of how Grand Cayman was 40 years ago.

“It’s quiet, so relaxing … this is the place to be when you want to be inspired. It’s beautiful and tranquil and peaceful. It’s the place to do a lot of brainstorming and get some great ideas,” said Christian.

As a multimedia artist, Christian’s creativity includes working in acrylics and watercolours, ceramic, stone, cement, driftwood and any other useful material that washes up on the beaches of Cayman Brac.

Since 15 July, 40 pieces of Christian’s work have been featured at Walton’s Mango Manor in Stake Bay, through the new Artist in Residency Programme of the Brac Heritage Autumn Festival.

Seahorses and whimsical fish made from painted driftwood hang alongside collages assembled from leaves, seashells and dried flowers sourced from beachcombing. There are acrylics on canvas, watercolours and ‘fluid art’ on display, as Christian’s artworks take audiences on a trip back to their childhood days.

With her ‘[email protected]’ series, Christian’s display is inspired by the Caribbean Sea, and the land and shores of the island’s diverse landscapes.

Cayman-born Christian developed her artistic talents at East End Primary School under the teachings of Molly Farrell. After leaving school, Christian decided to put her creative talents on hold to start a family, but when her children grew up and left the nest, she rekindled her relationship with her first love – art.

“I enjoy being lost in my art world and knowing that the super end results of my creations are so adored and treasured by others,” Christian said.

Simone Scott, the programme manager for the Artist in Residency Programme, said since starting the exhibitions in Walton’s Mango Manor, there has been excellent feedback from the public

The resident artist changes every two to three months, which, Scott said, allows a variety of different artists to get exposure. “As far as this exhibition, although it the slow period, we are hoping the tourists that are on island will come out to see the exhibition which features some of Cayman Brac’s beautiful sea scenes,” she said.

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