Art in the Turks and Caicos Islands

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The Turks and Caicos Islands is my home and an incredible country south of the Bahamian Archipelago. This collection of 40 islands and cays is painted with vibrant tropical colours. The ocean a breath-taking turquoise, the trees are variations of green and the sunsets fill the sky with pinks, purples, and greens. It only makes sense the country is a home of stunning unique art.

The first artist I would like to mention is Charlotte Chapman, my high school art teacher. Her work appreciates the island life, and many of her portraits are of local women and children in the TCI and broader Caribbean. She uses a bright coloured background which reflects the Caribbean and shows the subjects life and their origins. Chapman also paints textured seascapes using a palette knife, various paint and plaster. Her style influenced me as an artist myself. I love to paint with vibrant colours and mostly portraits. She has a unique brushstroke technique which makes her paintings very different from other portraits and seascapes created here in the Turks and Caicos. As a little background information, in-class Ms Chapman found I was getting too tight and constrained with my portraits. So, she made me paint them in less than 5 minutes. This exercise loosened up my pieces and made them more distinctive, a bit like her own.

Image courtesy of Ella O’Connell

Straying from Fine Art, Wellington Williams in a handmade Jewellery maker selling across 18 locations on Providenciales and Grand Turk. His pieces show the beach and ocean and many more things; he uses sand, shells and much more with metal and resin. He is a young entrepreneur in his 20s, filling the island with beauty. His pieces are lovely reasonably-priced gifts.

Another incredible jewellery maker is Atelys. She uses sea glass, sterling silver and stones like Larimar; her jewellery can be personalized. For those who don’t know, sea glass is made by broken pieces of glass, mostly from broken bottles, accidentally tumbling in the ocean softened and dulled by the years of desertion. I have a few pieces of hers, of which I adore and wear daily. For example, I went on a day trip to Middle and North Caicos, the islands next to my home of Providenciales. My sister collected sea glass from the shore and took them to Atelys to create matching pendants for the ladies in the group to wear. I never take mine off. If you ever visit the TCI, I would recommend getting a memento from Atelys.

Another incredible jewellery maker is Atelys. She uses sea glass, sterling silver and stones like Larimar; her jewellery can be personalized. For those who don’t know, sea glass is made by broken pieces of glass, mostly from broken bottles, accidentally tumbling in the ocean softened and dulled by the years of desertion. I have a few pieces of hers, of which I adore and wear daily. For example, I went on a day trip to Middle, and North Caicos, the islands next to my home of Providenciales. My sister collected sea glass from the shore and took them to Atelys to create matching pendants for the ladies in the group to wear. I never take mine off. If you ever visit the TCI, I would recommend getting a memento from Atelys.

Image courtesy of Atelys via Instagram

Furthermore, I want to mention Lucie Stubbs, who works in paint, textiles, ceramic and more. She owns and operates in Driftwood Studio (driftwoodstudiotci.com). In her studio, she mostly sells her own work but also works of others. As well as this, she offers art classes for both adults and children. I completed a week of work experience with her and thoroughly enjoyed it. She is a hands-on person who makes her customers enjoy art possibly as much as her.

As you now know, The Turks and Caicos Islands is home to many talented artists, of which I’ve only mentioned a few of. The calm lifestyle and island scene is an extraordinary place for artists to develop to the best of their abilities.

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