Kieran Walsh has the honour of being the first artist to see his works grace the walls at the recently inaugurated Gustavia Yacht Club. The landscape photographer’s series on St Barts, currently on display, captures and celebrates the island’s natural beauty.
“I thought this would be an appropriate first exhibition at the Gustavia Yacht Club as the members are united by their love of sailing, travel and mostly their love of the island of St Barts,” Natalie Clifford, Director and Partner of the contemporary art gallery Space SBH, told St Barts Life.
An island resident and friend of the artist introduced Ms Clifford to his works. She saw that the Irish artist’s portfolio of landscapes was consistently striking and “different to what we already had on the program and complimented our other artists”.
“It also allowed us to expand the price point of works that we offer to include some more accessible but beautiful works to help photography lovers and others to start building their collection,” expressed Ms Clifford, who has lived on this “little gem of a rock in the French West Indies” for nearly 12 years.
After running the Eden Rock Gallery for a few years and building up its program, Ms Clifford wanted to create her own gallery and art program on the island. As a result, Space SBH was conceived and opened in December 2011. “Our aim is not to be simply a destination gallery but to open a window onto the global art scene and carry leading international artists who are creating beautiful work and simultaneously are interesting to collect – both established or emerging in their field.”
For Ms Clifford, who speaks English, Spanish, Russian and French, St Barts has a special energy and an incredible light, which, like in the South of France or Santa Fe, inspires many artists and creative people.
Commenting that the art scene in St Barts is fairly small, with a few galleries on the island each offering something unique, the University of Bristol graduate revealed, “St Barts has something that you can’t quite put your finger on and hence seemed a great place to set up a gallery.
“Art is an important cultural element in any society and being geographically quite isolated from such a scene I thought it was important for not only the visitors of the island but also the residents and community to contribute a cultural element to society for enjoyment, appreciation and pleasure.”
Kieran Walsh’s exhibit runs until the end of August. “We have some wonderful pieces available as part of the exhibition and are offering a special price on works to Gustavia Yacht Club members through to the end of the season,” Ms Clifford said. “Their purchase will see 10 percent of proceeds donated back into the Yacht Club.”
Next season members and visitors can look forward to another great exhibition by Pierre Carreau, whose art celebrates the ocean and water as a source of life and energy. “His work is abstract, almost painterly,” Ms Clifford explained, “and the light and shapes of his pieces make it very unique.”
Article first published on August 10, 2017.