The National Gallery of Grand Cayman will be unveiling the long-awaited sculpture, entitled Adjacent by artist Davin Ebanks on Tuesday, 1 July.
The sculpture, which was made possible by a generous grant from Cayman Water Authority, will be installed in the front entrance of the National Gallery, located on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway.
“We are thrilled to be unveiling this important piece of public art which stands as a permanent celebration of our maritime heritage, and are extremely grateful to Water Authority Cayman for their vision in partnering with us on this project. Public art plays an important role in society and is often a forum through which to express a country’s unique iconography. Importantly, by bringing artwork “outside” the traditional walls of an art museum and into the public domain it makes the work accessible to the public at all times,” said National Gallery Director, Natalie Urquhart.
She added that the eye-catching 8ft sculpture will serve as a dynamic introduction to the other artworks in the National Collection which are housed inside the Gallery.
The artist, Mr Ebanks, won the national competition launched by the National Gallery and Cayman Water Authority at the end of 2013. He and his assistants will be on hand for the unveiling to share some of their thoughts about the art piece and its construction process.
In his winning proposal to the judging panel, Mr Ebanks stated that the piece aimed to blend past and present Cayman. To achieve that goal, he drew on the form a half-model of a traditional Caymanian catboat – an iconic shape that will resonate across all members of the community – and reworked this as a minimalist concrete and glass sculpture.
Ebanks describes the sculpture as being two halves of a bow and stern stood upright and situated side by side to create a dynamic form. He goes on to describe that the angle created where the two halves meet can be seen as “the intersection between two buildings, a passageway or crossroads.” The result is an impactful, compelling representation of our maritime heritage that will intrigue and engage viewers.
At the centre of Ebanks’ piece is a focal point made out of glass which will capture the light and beauty of the environment. The fragile reflective inset, encased by two onyx-coloured concrete columns, will be made even more striking by the contrasting solemnity and solidity of these two forms.
Whereas virtual images of the sculpture have been published, the physical sculpture itself has yet to be seen by anyone. “Being able to see it in 3D and walk around it will be an entirely different experience from judging it on paper,” says Public Art Competition organiser Emé Paschalides. “The back of the sculpture will be a surprising discovery, like an envelope letting out a secret or a flower blooming open.”
The public sculpture will be a reminder to Gallery visitors and passers-by of the importance of thinking creatively and passionately, allowing on-lookers the opportunity to meditate upon the beautiful whole that can be created when cultural variations are brought together.