Arthur’s Art at Former Zemicon Gallery – “BRIDGETOWN” runs to Month-End, 28 Feb. 2010 at the Bridgetown Gallery

You better rush over to Hincks Street fast, because by the time you read this all of Arthur Atkinson’s works may have sold out? Be it acrylic, watercolour or mixed media – the depictions of various aspects of ‘Street‘ life even to the life of the street itself are being gobbled up by collectors.

Pauline Beckles in a blue and white dress backing camera while Billy Gollop chats with her (right corner of shot) at Bridgetown Gallery

Pauline Beckles in a blue and white dress backing camera while Billy Gollop chats with her (right corner of shot) at Bridgetown Gallery

I understand there were other paintings which sold even BEFORE the exhibit started! This show continues until the 28th. Of the 32 present, up to when I left that night, there were 11 red dots, indicating sales were brisk! Life has returned quickly to what was Zemicon, now the more user-friendly named “Bridgetown Gallery.”

"No Parking" Watercolour & coloured pencils

"No Parking" Watercolour & coloured pencils

When one considers Rockwell’s pastoral and small-town minutiae, this is the flip side of the coin which completes the equation – Barbados, no longer a hick-island of donkey-carts (Hey, when last you saw one?) and black belly sheep walking into traffic (Been a while for that too…), now a thrumming mini-Cosmopolitan rather than a mini-cosmos of bucolic Caribbean bliss.

Extreme Right: Suan Bain of the NAGC, Foreground: Juliana Inniss with Richard Goddard

Extreme Right: Susan Bain of the NAGC, Foreground: Juliana Inniss with Richard Goddard

It definitely had the fascination of all attending; whether proud son Ewan Atkinson – artist in his own right, Richard Goddard from the Energy Ministry or Juliana Inniss who curates Aweipo Gallery, Billy Gollop of the National Trust, Artist/Photographer/Animal Rights Activist Corrie Scott, Nick Whittle and Kathleen Yearwood (Set to have her own gallery in front of the Chattel House Village for the start of the Holetown Festival) among many others, one almost felt you were salmon going upstream.

"Cavan's Lane - Early Saturday Morning"

"Cavan's Lane - Early Saturday Morning"

In the brief moments I had with Arthur on the Opening Night, I learned he snaps a shot then interprets the view and translates it to canvas or paper. If canvas, he sketches the initial scenery with charcoal and fleshes it out via acrylic. On the watercolours he starts with a regular pencil and may embellish with coloured pencils.

As Trevor Carmichael makes an entrance, Artist Nick Whittle discusses Atkinson's style with Juliana Inniss and an associate

As Trevor Carmichael makes an entrance, Artist Nick Whittle discusses Atkinson's style with Juliana Inniss and an associate

His views of Bridgetown are not necessarily flattering yet so much more the insightful for their stark realism. “Baxter’s Road” shows a segment of the ‘street that never sleeps‘ which needs a sleep therapist in a hurry! More like a study of The Acropolis as it is now, one would never suspect it is a portion of the most popular areas in the City known for nightcaps or After Hours debauchery.

Looking at people in seldom seen settings in the “Slow Night at the Taxi Stand” is almost an impressionistic glimpse of boredom if Rembrandt cared to do such things.  “Cavan’s Lane – Early Saturday Morning” shows the character of this Bridgetown seaside portion when not interrupted by humans.

I just keep thinking of Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' but this is "Slow Night at the Taxi Stand"

I just keep thinking of Rembrandt's 'Night Watch' but this is "Slow Night at the Taxi Stand"

Galleria Mall” on Broad Street, the crossing by the Total Sports building (Which used to be Manning, Wilkinson & Challenor, alias The Manning’s Store as folk would say when using the edifice as a rendezvous point) and Swan Street itself all hold sway under the lens, brushes and strokes of Arthur’s detailed observations, whose own analysis seeking to prove how Bridgetown the venue itself is imbued with a soul or personality all of its own that reflects and yet stands alone from its guests and inhabitants.

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  1. Arthur Atkinson we Bajans are proud of you as you show off our island in your art

  2. There are only two styles of portrait painting; the serious and the smirk.Charles Dickens

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