Two island artists will debut their latest works tonight at an opening reception at Bajo el Sol – painter Deborah St. Clair and ceramicist Mandy Thody.
Bajo el Sol is a quaint three-room gallery located in Mongoose Junction. It opened in 1993 by local artists who wanted to share their vision of the Virgin Islands’ beauty through paintings, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry and other works of art.
Here are the details on tonight’s event courtesy of Jaime Elliott for Bajo el Sol:
This month’s opening will feature new works by painter Deborah St. Clair and ceramicist Mandy Thody, combining whimsical hand sculpted pieces and striking modern canvases.
For this show, Thody has been focusing on the many and varied animals of the Caribbean, the artist explained.
“From human to goat to iguana; most of the pieces are glazed matte with oxides and very simple glazes in natural colors,” said Thody. “I have wanted to do more domestic or farm animals for a long time and it finally happened.”
In addition to Thody’s charming and varied animal collection, her show will also feature a series of masks which nod to African and tribal traditions, Thody explained.
“The masks are also a new style, in heavily embossed and carved surrounds with elements of African and other cultural motifs,” she said.
While working in a very different medium, long-time St. John painter St. Clair has been using her considerable talent to investigate instinct, she explained.
“These current paintings are a progression in the work I am doing using instinct and chance,” said St. Clair. “The technical knowledge is there to call upon, but the painting is to have free reign.”
It is through taking chances and opening herself to the possibility of failure which has allowed St. Clair a new freedom in her paintings, the artist explained.
“I use a process of creating a painting by taking the chance of destroying it,” she said. “I paint over it, into it, or scrape away from it. As a result of this process, there are many layers of under paintings.”
This process also allows the paintings to literally lead the way for the artist, St. Clair added.
“Often the painting will diverge from my original idea which affords me the opportunity to explore the new and unexpected direction,” she said.
St. Clair’s work is often striking, always vibrant and has the ability to engage viewers while they reflect on color, composition and emotion.
Tonight’s event begins at 5 p.m. and goes until 8 p.m. For more information on the opening or Bajo el Sol, please visit www.BajoelSolGallery.com