The BNG team share their favourite pieces
Art can comfort, encourage us to question and help us to concentrate on the present moment in the midst of trying times. The BNG team talk through the artworks that mean the most to them and present the pieces hanging in their own homes which are seeing them through these tumultuous times.
Gary Phillips, OBE, JP, Chairman, on Neighbourhood by Charles Lloyd Tucker (shown above)
“That I was a student of Charles Lloyd Tucker is a fact. The real truth, however, is that I attended Mr. Tucker’s art classes at The Berkeley Institute for a couple of years, after which time we finally reached an understanding — there are those who create fine art and then there are those who would probably do better supporting and encouraging artists. It goes without saying that I clearly fell into the latter category.
My opportunity to purchase my first Charles Lloyd Tucker piece came in the spring of 1971, following a conversation I had with his widow a few months after her husband’s death. Not only did I want to own a Charles Lloyd Tucker but I was especially excited and drawn to this particular watercolour (shown above) because it captures the architecture, the mood, and indeed the soul of Curving Avenue and Middletown, Pembroke – the neighbourhood where I was born and lived before moving to study in France at age 20.
This particular work was featured in House and Home, a BNG exhibition which opened in September 2003. Over almost five decades, I have continued to collect the works of Charles Lloyd Tucker. Our dining room has become a tribute to my appreciation of his genius as a social commentator through his work as a fine artist, a teacher and a musician.”
Mitchell Klink, Trustee, on Fangs*** by Peter Bahouth
“Peter Bahouth’s stereoscopic photographs and viewing stands ask the viewer to surrender. Commit to look before you know what you’ll see. Adopt a vulnerable posture to lean into the eyepiece height. Look at something independently.
Fangs is a picture of a dog – a German Shepherd – jumping up to pop a bubble. Ferocity & fragility combine and contradict. This dog is a beloved family pet playing a game, but the breed can be frightening. They have been used in some of modern history’s worst policing.
The bubble has been used in Renaissance, Hindu, and Romantic art to symbolise temporality, impermanence, mortality and hopeful optimism. Fangs is the title, but is it the subject? For me, it’s the bubbles.”
Peter Lapsley, Executive Director, on Bhutan by Nea Willits
“This work is a photograph on paper by Bermudian Nea Willits taken whilst she was in Bhutan sometime in the early 2000’s. While I do not have a specific theme or direction in terms of what I collect, it is always that initial moment that determines whether I revisit a work and this one spoke to me immediately.
The work, although not immediately recognisable, depicts Bhutanese monks participating in a cleansing fire ceremony and when I initially saw the image I was drawn to it by the intense energy of the moment. In learning more about it, I was engaged by the journey of the photographer who travelled to this remote place and was so inspired by the experience of this reverential yet dynamic moment.
This artwork is currently positioned where I see it every day and serves as a reminder not to lose that sense of adventure and wonder in the world.”
Eve Godet Thomas, Director of Programming and Engagement, on Nudes by Molly Godet Thomas
“My mother, the artist Molly Godet Thomas, painted these nudes when she was at Hornsey College Of Art in London. She left Bermuda in the 1960s to go to art college and didn’t look back until she retired some forty years later.
These paintings hung in our childhood home in London and later in the flat that my parents shared after my brother and I moved out. For most of my life they were the only artworks I had ever seen of my mother’s. After leaving college, she worked as an art director at an advertising agency. She didn’t pick up a paintbrush again until she and my father returned to live in to Bermuda when they retired. She met the Bermuda Plein Air group soon afterwards and quickly became known for her bold watercolours of the local landscape.
When I chose to move to Bermuda after her death a few years ago, my brother and I decided that these should move with me. They now hang in the home which her grandfather built and in which her granddaughters are growing up. It felt right to bring her home.”
Jennifer Phillips, Office Administrator, on Exuberant Pink by Pamela Holl Hunt
“Around 2000 my aunt, fine artist Pamela Holl Hunt, moved to a new house which backed onto a forest. Her new backyard view of so many tree trunks inspired a Tree Series of oil paintings, which began with figurative pieces and gradually evolved into more abstract forms using bolder colours.
She called this piece Exuberant Pink because one of the trees in the finished work looks like a figure jumping for joy. So, it’s an uplifting piece, and I’m inspired by the creative process and how paintings can take on a life of their own.
This painting hangs in my living room, paired with another artwork from the same series. I love it for its surprising pop of colour in the otherwise neutral palette of my home. The hint of a pathway through the woods is almost like a window to some magical unknown. While we were sheltering in place, I often imagined the clearing that might lie around the corner.
Most importantly, the fact that it was painted by my mother’s sister, who lives in British Columbia, speaks to the way that art can bridge distance and time. Finding unconventional ways of staying close to loved ones has become paramount in recent months.”
George Peterich, Trustee, on Ocean Shore (Untitled) by Anne Kermode
“I love this painting. It brings together two things have been most important all my life: the enjoyment of the visual arts and my love for the natural world that surrounds us.
I gave it this name because I don’t know the title, or rather I cannot remember one. The painting hangs in a room where I spend most of my creative moments. I often look up at it from the other end of the room. To me it radiates peace. One sees in it the sea, the beach, and the edge of vegetation.
I enjoy Anne Kermode’s painting. It is original and simple. Despite the intricacy of the way she puts the observed to the canvas, she has achieved to bring across a message. It gives one food for thought. It is, in my opinion, a masterpiece.”
What inspires you? Please share your favourite artworks with us, either via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or on instagram by tagging @bermuda_nationalgallery #artthatsustainsme