Exhibition Opening

The Ocean They Inhabit

Thank you to everyone who joined us for last week for the opening of The Ocean They Inhabit. The photographs in the exhibition, which were taken by Andrew Stevenson over a two-day encounter with the same pair of whales, capture the majestic grace of the humpbacks in the wild.

Andrew Stevenson was feet away from the whales when capturing these photographs. Shot in black and white, the striking images allow us to see the humpbacks, who have monochromatic vision, to see the world as they see it around them, reminding us of our shared existence.

The accompanying film, captured utilising drone technology, follows a second pair of whales as they approach Bermuda’s shallow reefs at sunset where they exfoliate in the sand holes.  Its meditative quality is emphasised by the immersive experience of the arial footage.

It was a wonderful evening and we would like to thank Butterfield for their sponsorship of the exhibition, plus a special thank you to colourlab Bermuda and Frameworks, and to Goslings who provided the bar. 

Photographs by Brandon Morrison

The Ocean They Inhabit: Photographs by Andrew Stevenson is on display at BNG through to September 23. The exhibition is sponsored by Butterfield.


1,200 Students Visit BNG

Simplicity of Form

With the generous support of the Green family and the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, almost 1,200 students and over 100 teachers have visited the Bermuda National Gallery to see Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction since the exhibition opened at the end of January.

Bringing together an unparalleled selection of works by artists such as Frank Stella, Kenneth Noland, Bridget Riley and David Hockney, from the Green family’s private collection, the exhibition examines the development of abstract art and its seismic impact on contemporary Western Art.

We would like to extend a big thank you to the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club for the loan of their minibus, which has brought in students from schools the length and breadth of the island, including BCCL, Berkeley Institute, Bermuda Institute, BHS, Clara Muhammad School, Cedarbridge, Dalton E. Tucker, Eliot Primary School, Gilbert Institute, Paget Primary, Port Royal Primary, Prospect Primary, Purvis Primary, Saltus, St George’s Prep, Warwick Academy, West End Primary and West Pembroke Primary.

We would also like to thank Shanon Rose Robinson of the Ministry of Education for helping to coordinate the programme, which has seen class visits twice a day, every day, for the past ten weeks; alongside our many volunteers who made this possible, including Liliana Simmons who led many of the tours. 

Tours for classes and camps can be arranged throughout the coming months. Please contact Education Officer Rehana Packwood for more information at

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction runs through to September 2023.


International Women’s Day

Balancing the Narrative

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction examines the development of abstract art and its seismic impact on contemporary Western Art. Of the 17 artists featured, only three are women. This is unsurprising given that at the time that this history was being written, it was from a Western and predominantly male perspective and so the most recognizable artworks associated with these movements reflect that.

It is, however, a canon which is being re-examined today in light of contemporary understanding, challenged by globalisation and inequalities in representation of both race and gender. This is illustrated by the belated recognition of overlooked female artists such as Hilma af Klint (Swedish, 1862-1944), whose large-scale abstract paintings pre-date Piet Mondrian (Dutch, 1872- 1944) by a decade yet have only been widely exhibited in recent years. She is now considered to be one of the first abstract artists.

The re-balancing of art history is underscored by the opening of the ground-breaking exhibition Hilma af Klint & Piet Mondrian at Tate Modern, London this spring, which will move to the Kunstmuseum in The Hague in the fall.

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we shine a spotlight on Bridget Riley, one of Britain’s greatest living artists, who has three artworks displayed in Simplicity of Form, illustrating both the length and breadth of her distinguished career.

Bridget Riley (British, b. 1931)

Untitled (La Lune en Rodage – Carlo Belloli)



Synonymous with the Op Art movement, British artist Bridget Riley uses dynamic patterns to make the two-dimensional picture plane vibrate, disorientating the viewer. She says, “My paintings are, of course, concerned with generating visual sensations, but certainly not to the exclusion of emotion. One of my aims is that these two responses shall be experienced as one and the same.”

In 1964, Riley was included in New Generation at the Whitechapel Gallery, London alongside David Hockney, and in the seminal exhibition The Responsive Eye at the Museum of Modern Art, New York the following year.

Bridget Riley (British, b. 1931)

Entice I

Acrylic on linen


Originally only painting in black and white, in 1967 Riley began exploring the relationship between colour and light which she translates into geometric forms that undulate across the canvas. “I couldn’t get near what I wanted through seeing, recognizing and recreating,” she says, “so I stood the problem on its head. I started studying squares, rectangles, triangles and the sensations they give rise to.”

The following year, Riley represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, where she won the prestigious International Painting Prize. She continues to experiment, and major retrospectives of her work have been held on both sides of the Atlantic in recent years, including the Hayward Gallery in London (2019) and the Yale Center for British Art in Connecticut (2022).

Bridget Riley (British, b. 1931)

Composition with Circles 1



With a focus on the ultimate reduction of form, in the early 1960s, artists such as Bridget Riley challenged the dynamism of the post-war Abstract Expressionists that had come before them. Experimenting into her eighth decade, Composition with Circles 1 (2001) marks a return to the black and white that Riley first began painting in and illustrates her fascination with precision, repetition and rhythm.

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction is on display at BNG through to September. This exhibition is made possible thanks to the loan of artwork from the Green family.


Black History Month

Photographs by Richard Saunders

As Black History Month comes to a close, explore the work of Bermudian photographer Richard Clive Saunders (1922-1987) in A Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders on display in the Ondaatje Wing.

Born into segregation, the realities of institutional racism in Bermuda propelled him to leave the island and shaped the direction of his photographic career. “What matters to me are people and their feelings,” said the photographer, aware of the power of his images – which were published in Ebony, Time, National Geographic, Life and the New York Times – to bring about social change.

“Above all it is the dignity of man, of whatever colour, creed or persuasion, that must come through in my photographs.”

Click here to read more

Top: Women Building Lesotho Track, Lesotho by Richard Saunders (Bermudian, 1922-1981), silver print, 1971; and Malcolm X with Elijah Mohammed and Muslim Dignitaries by Richard Saunders, silver print, 1950s. Collection of the Bermuda National Gallery. Above: Topic Magazines and Archival Materials. On Display at BNG in A Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders

Members’ Opening

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the members’ opening of Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction. The exhibition is produced in partnership with the Green family and we would like to extend a sincere thank you to them for the generous loan of these artworks. 

This exhibition represents the third in a series that we have had held showcasing the Green family’s private collection. The first, Rebel with A Cause: Shepard Fairey, was held in 2017; followed by What’s Poppin’: Pop Art and Its Influence, held in 2019.   

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction, curated by Eve Godet Thomas, expands on this series both in terms of the time frame of the works but also the scale and scope of the works on display, including a move from the Hereward T. Watlington Room to the Humann, Young and Upper Mezzanine Galleries, allowing us to accommodate the works in a more expansive way.

The exhibition brings together a world-class selection of artists and artworks, examples of which are found in the most significant art museums across the globe, and we are thrilled to be able to present this in Bermuda.

As with all BNG exhibitions, there is robust educational programming and we have once again partnered with the Hamilton Princess, who have generously provided a minibus that will bring in primary, middle and senior school students from across the island. School tours have already begun and will continue to come in twice a day, five days a week, for the next ten weeks.  

If you have school age children, please let their teachers and PTAs know. Tours are free of charge and open to all schools, both public and private. For the previous Pop Art exhibition, we brought in over 3,000 students and 111 teachers, which had an incredible impact on our community’s young people.

For further information please contact Education Officer Rehana Packwood at

Simplicity of Form: Unfolding Abstraction runs through to September 2023.


BNG Wins Best Museum

As Bermuda Biennial Opens

It is with great pleasure that I am able to announce that in this, Bermuda National Gallery’s 30th Anniversary year, we have been awarded Best Museum in the 2022 Best of Bermuda Awards by The Bermudian magazine.

This is such an honour, and it is a reflection of the dedication and effort that the team here at BNG have put into our exhibitions, programmes and events. A big thank you to our artists, members and supporters for being engaged and involved, it makes a difference and it makes it all worthwhile, and thank you to the community for seeing the value in what BNG does.

With that in mind, I would encourage you to come out and see our exhibitions currently on display. The 2022 Bermuda Biennial recently opened to a crowd of over 200 people with the great support and sponsorship of Bacardi Limited. The exhibition is very strong and we have some familiar faces in artists such as Charles Zuill and Jonah Jones, but also some artists new to BNG such as Sabriyya Harvey and Jahbarri Wilson.

There is a tremendous range of work, and with the inclusion of poetry this year it has a depth of artistic exploration that epitomizes what the Biennial is all about. This year there are also two public works, one by Jacqueline Alma, and the other by Antoine Hunt. Jacqueline’s work is currently installed on the east lawn of City Hall & Arts Centre and Antoine’s artwork will begin installation soon! I really encourage you get out and have a look.

Accompanying the Biennial we also have the Henry Ward exhibition, From Darkness to Light: Portraits by Henry Ward and opening to the public on June 24th in the Ondaatje Gallery, A Personal Perspective: Photographs by Richard Saunders. This is an exhibition of 18 works from the Bermuda National Gallery’s permanent collection curated by Eve Godet Thomas and offers an engaging look at Richard Saunders‘ international works.

Kind regards,

Peter Lapsley MFA
Executive Director


Final Weeks

The African Collection

The African Collection: Our People, Our Places, Our Stories closes on May 28. The striking exhibition showcases the Bermuda National Gallery’s permanent collection of African art, which consists of 37 works, representing 22 peoples from 12 countries in sub-Saharan west Africa, which range from ritual sculpture to masks, functional objects and textiles.

On display alongside the collection is a series of works by French documentary photographer and film director Catherine de Clippel which illustrate several of the masks on display being used in ritual ceremonies and capture the distinctive mud architecture of Djenné and M’Pessoba that serve as the backdrop for many of the customs. 

We recently welcomed P2 students from Bermuda High School (pictured below) and P3 students from West Pembroke for class tours of the exhibition. If you would like to arrange a class field trip please email our Education Officer Rehana Packwood at

Click here for more information. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀


From Darkness to Light

Portraits by Henry Ward

From Darkness to Light: Portraits by Henry Ward, curated by Dr Charles Zuill, is now open in the Watlington Room. The exhibition presents a selection of portraits that capture key figures in Bermuda’s diverse communities.

From Ruth Thomas MBE, founding trustee of the Bermuda National Gallery and the first Bermuda Cultural Affairs Officer, to Alan Burland, co-founder of the Bermuda Sloop Foundation, the exhibition shines a light on Bermudians who have given back to the community in a number of different ways. 

Included in the cast is Dr David Wingate OBE. Affectionately nicknamed the Bird Man of Bermuda, the award winning ornithologist, naturalist and conservationist helped to re-discover and breed the Bermuda Cahow, which was believed to have been extinct for 300 years. 

Dr Wingate at the opening of the exhibition. Photographs by Brandon Morrison.

The painting of Dr Wingate has been generously donated to the Bermuda National Gallery’s permanent collection by the Bermuda Zoological Society. We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to BAMZ for making this gift possible.

This artwork not only honours a Bermudian whose work has had such substantial and positive impact on our island, but provides BNG with important exhibition and learning opportunities for the community for future generations.

Click here to read more

Henry Ward with Bermuda National Gallery Chairman Gary Phillips, OBE JP.

From Darkness to Light: Portraits by Henry Ward is on display in the Watlington Room from May 10 through to October 15. With support from Christian Humann Foundation, Bermuda Centennial Foundation and D&J Construction.


New Exhibition

Coming Soon

From Darkness to Light: Portraits by Henry Ward opens to the public on Tuesday, May 10. The exhibition, which is curated byDr Charles Zuill, captures key figures in Bermuda’s diverse communities.

Having honed his craft for over 20 years, Henry Ward’s approach to portraiture is inspired by techniques developed over the centuries by the Old Masters “in whose works light represented the presence of the Divine — darkness, our universal origins.” In his studio-based practice, Ward employs traditional materials in his selection of oil paint and Belgian linen; however, stylistically, he seeks to blend the old with the new.

Invitations for the Members’ Opening have been sent out. If you have not received an invitation, your membership may have lapsed. Click here to renew for 2022/23 or contact Jennifer Phillips at 

From Darkness To Light: Portraits by Henry Ward will be on display in the Watlington Room from May 10 through to October 15. With support from the Centennial Bermuda Foundation, the Christian Humann Foundation and D&J Construction.


Earth Month

Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living

For over 50 years April has been designated Earth Month – a yearly pause in the calendar to encourage us to reflect on the state of our planet and take stock of humanity’s impact upon it. Established in 1970 with a mission to “diversify, educate and activate the environmental movement worldwide“, the organisation has since immobilised an estimated 1 billion individuals from 192 countries to advocate for the future of our planet. 

The theme for 2022 is Invest In Our Planet, which encourages communities to come together to preserve and protect the earth. This theme is also at the core of Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living, a photographic exhibition by Meredith Andrews, which closes in the BNG Project Space at the end of this month.

The striking exhibition, which is produced by the Bermuda National Gallery in collaboration with Keep Bermuda Beautiful (KBB), looks at the environmental impact of life in the 21st century and celebrates the Bermuda government’s proposal to ban single use plastics by the end of 2025. 

This exhibition is sponsored by Zurich Bermuda (a member of the Zurich Insurance Group).     

Click here to read the exhibition catalogue.

Limited Fine Art Edition Prints

As part of a fundraising programme, we have released a series of limited edition fine art prints by Meredith Andrews to accompany Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living. The initiative, which has seen prints bought for both private and corporate collections, including the Green family, Clarien, Conduit Re and Butterfield Bank, has so far raised $30,000, with proceeds go to Bermuda National Gallery and Keep Bermuda Beautiful. 

Help us raise more for these two registered charities by purchasing a print today. A limited edition of 20 fine art prints of each artwork in the exhibition, numbered and signed by the artist, are available to purchase, priced at $250. Size 16 x 20, unframed. 

A very limited number of large scale prints, sized 28 x 36 in, are also available to purchase, with price on request from

Click here to purchase a print. 

Celebrate Earth Day at BNG

Join us on Thursday, April 21 to celebrate Earth Day and the close of Flotsam and Jetsam: The Cost of Modern Living.

Join us for drinks reception and private viewing of the exhibition at 5pm, followed by Meredith Andrews in conversation with BNG Executive Director Peter Lapsley and KBB board member and the Waste Education and Enforcement Officer for the Waste Management Section of the Ministry of Public Works, Vanese Flood Gordon

Tickets are $10 for BNG members, $20 for non-members. Drinks at 5pm, followed by the panel discussion at 6pm. 

Click here to register. 

Spaces are limited and tickets must be purchased in advance.