Bahamian Sunflower

In art it is so important to keep pushing the boundaries and to step outside of your comfort zone. As an artist I love being given the challenge of creating for a specific theme. I find it exciting to see how my point of view reveals itself in the process of creating and how there always seems to be a constant when it comes to the source of inspiration, the place from which an artist’s thumbprint originates.

This year for the annual Transforming Spaces art event that takes place in Nassau, artists were asked to create using natural fibers that are found in the Bahamas; all of the participating galleries would have one theme “FIBRE”.

My yard here on the island of Grand Bahama is full of coconut trees and our driveway is lined with queen palm trees and so we are forever picking up the dried coconut fruit pods that fall off of the trees when they are dry. After being given the challenge of creating for FIBRE and putting the idea in my spirit to see what would germinate, I began to take note that the shape of the fruit pods resembled flower petals. Being one who practices meditation, I began to formulate the idea of creating a lotus shaped meditation pod using the dried fruit pods to create the lotus petals and the center cone would be a seat on which to sit for meditation.

As I began to execute my idea, it became obvious that what was taking shape was more of a sunflower than a lotus and I began to realize the perfection of this development. What better place to meditate than in the center of a sunflower, a flower best known for constantly following the sun! And what is more synonymous with the Bahamas than the sun and the coconut trees! Thus my “Bahamian Sunflower” came into being.

My artist statement to accompany the piece reads as follows:

Mystically evocative in their allegiance to the sun, Sunflowers are often a source of inspiration for me. Using materials from the coconut and queen palm tree both found so abundantly in our islands and in my yard, I’ve created our very own “Bahamian Sunflower”. Take a minute… sit in its center… connect with your light source.

Click on any image below to open it in a slideshow.

Claudette Dean