Bahamians Collaborate In Layers Project

On February 23rd and 24th, Bahamian artists Scharad Lightbourne and Leanne Russell begin work on an exciting collaborative project in Treasure Cay, Abaco. Employing a modern variation of mixed media the project pays homage to iconic paintings by Bahamian master artists,   namely Amos Ferguson, Brent Malone, John Beadle, and Max Taylor.

The collaboration, entitled “Layers”, is named for the layers of inspiration fueling the project: cultural iconography, contextual differences created by gender and medium, and the aesthetic differences in how the actual work will look and be produced- in layers.

Portraits from this shoot will serve as the foundation (or first “layer”) of the work, with the final pieces being a unique fusion of both artists’ preferred mediums: Painting and Photography.

Abaconian painter Leanne Russell explains “We will be creating a new brand of “Mixed Media”, mixing the different vantage points of gender (in both inspiration and implementation), genre, time, and medium. In choosing the visual inspiration for this project I knew that I wanted to select pieces that would allow exploration into gender roles portrayed in Bahamian art and the role that male artists in this era played in shaping the female archetype- I also knew that it was a dream of mine to work with Scharad, and that the project could only happen if I got him on board”.

Scharad, recognized throughout The Bahamas for his lifestyle beauty, and    fashion photography, mirrors Leanne’s excitement, saying the artistic partnership “is beyond what I could fathom at this point in my career.” Scharad describes the project as being “challenging, inspiring, energetic, and creative. I feel the multi-media aspect and technological aspects married with our creative sense will make this one of the most, if not THE most, impactful collaborations I’ve participated in to date.”

“Layers” is undoubtedly an exciting and ambitious undertaking for the artists, both of whom are considered rising stars in the Bahamian fine art field. Their goal is to not only produce a cohesive, exhibit-ready collection, but simultaneously engender renewed appreciation of prized Bahamian masterpieces.

The project hinges not only on how successful the artists are at merging their art forms to create a hybrid compilation, but also how well they can combat logistical hurdles. This photo shoot will be the first of two- the second will take place in Nassau next month for the anticipated “Standout Piece” of the collection. It is estimated that the project will take 4 months to complete.