The City of Hamilton officially unveiled two new murals as part of the 2023 VIVID Public Art in the City Initiative. To date the initiative has installed more than 25 murals throughout the City since first being launch as the City Arts Festival in 2015.
Mayor Charles Gosling welcomed international large-scale muralist Andre Trenier, from New York, along with participants of the two-day mural workshop, led by Trenier, that all contributed to the Cup Match-themed mural on Church Street.
The artwork, entitled Emancipation: Coming Together for Cup Match depicts Cup Match revellers from the opposing teams, portraits of Sylvan Richardson and Lisa Weekes captured by local photographers Akil Simmons and Anthony Wade, respectively, who are seemingly celebrating together the much-loved annual celebration of Bermuda’s favourite rivalry.
The unveiling continued in Cavendish Car Park where a poem, I Am Bermuda, by Andra Simons, featuring the likeness of Denise Bowens-Tucker captured by local photographer Meredith Andrews, towers over the car park. Throughout the artwork are additional aspects of Bermudian culture including the Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, loquats, a soaring kite and bicycle imagery captured by photographer Jayde Gibbons.
Andra Simons is a Bermudian writer and performer living in London who has released two poetry collections – The Joshua Tales and Turtlemen, the latter from which I Am Bermuda comes. Mr. Simons is a former visiting lecturer at the University of Greenwich.
Mr. Trenier said of his visit to Bermuda and his inclusion in the 2023 VIVID projects, “It’s truly a pleasure to be here in beautiful Bermuda and be a part of this process. I’ve met amazing people and artists since I’ve been here and we’ve inspired each other. I’ve learned a lot about Bermuda’s history from emancipation to Cup Match. I always like to experience a place before I paint something and it all came together in a beautiful, organic way.
“It’s been a wonderfully intense week of creativity. To be able to share techniques and collaborate with such an eager group of artists was amazing. To have the collaborative piece as well as a monumental solo piece in an international destination is really a dream come true for any artist. I’m completely humbled that my work can be showcased here for the people of Bermuda and I thank the City of Hamilton for the opportunity.”
Mayor Gosling said of the first mural, “The City created an objective to have a vibrant City and utilize some of the unnecessary blank walls throughout Hamilton to do just that. Here we have a wonderful conglomeration of colours and feelings that truly exemplify what Cup Match and emancipation mean to the people of Bermuda.”
Of the large-scale mural in Cavendish, he added, “If you’re going to say something, say it loud. Here is a wonderful celebration of what it is to be a Bermudian. This mural actually ties in with any Bermudian. It speaks loudly as to what we are and who we are and I think it’s great. To Denise he said, “I don’t know about you, but I’d be driving by this three times a day!” He continued by thanking Mr. Trenier for coming and adding such vibrancy to the City.
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