Rising talent in the local arts’ firmament

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With an eye to the future

With a vibrant arts scene now firmly established in Cayman, new talent is emerging daily. Keep a close eye on the follwing three artists whose work, while technically unique, reflects a combined passion for their local environment.

Mikael Seffer is an artist and designer whose works reflect his passion for nature’s surroundings. 

Growing up locally has been the perfect backdrop for Seffer, who draws inspiration from all aspects of its landscape from the shoreline and movement of the ocean, to the natural light that reflects from an ever-changing sky… hues that coexist seamlessly without boundaries.

Through a mixture of media, layered surfaces and pouring techniques, Seffer reworks this familiar landscape by stripping it down to a sequence of colours and rhythms. Just like his subject matter there is a liquid quality to the work; colours merge into each other and no boundaries exist. His recent experiments with resin add a further fluidity that seems to lock the natural phenomena of light, air and water within the confines of his canvas.

Through her work with several well known publications on the island, Jo Austin is gaining a strong reputation as a talented illustrator yet she considers herself a traditional artist first and foremost.

After receiving a degree in Illustration from Edinburgh College of Art, she returned home to Cayman where she spends much of her time painting its people, places and culture. She enjoys experimenting with new ideas and incorporating small scenes from daily life on the Island that sometimes get passed by.

Working in a mixture of pencil, watercolour and pen and ink drawing, her strong interest in the illustrative quality of portraiture is ever present in her art.

Jo first received acclaim at Art@Governors 2009 when her selection of illustrations and humorous caricatures were among the highlights of the event.

A recent fine art graduate from the University of Toronto, Kaitlyn Elphinstone has been described as a conceptual artist, fibre artist, assemblage artist, and environmental artist, yet she refuses to be pigeonholed.

Working primarily in photography, found objects and recyclable materials, Elphinstone is interested in the contrast between the natural world and man’s apparent need to contain it. She aims to explore this need to control, order, preserve and categorise our natural environment and to challenge what we understand by the term beauty as it is applied to the natural and artificial’realms.

Her recent exhibition ‘Experimental Landscapes’ at the National Gallery explored these themes. The show included the mixed media pieces ‘22 Ways to Play in the Dirt’ and ‘5 Contained Fish,’ in which large glass jars containing water and a live fish were suspended, with industrial chains, from the ceiling.

These works both delight and provoke in a combination that challenges our moral and aesthetic conditioning on many levels. 

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