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Novel Gift for Neighbour

Local multi-media artist Mr. Luelan Bodden presents a specially crafted creation for the 50th anniversary celebrations of Jamaica's Independence, to the Premier, the Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP. Also present was the Chief of Staff in the Premier's Office, Mr. Leonard Dilbert, JP.

A Caymanian artwork handcrafted of local conch shell on a base of mahogany will be the Premier's gift to the Jamaican people in honour of the celebrations surrounding the golden jubilee of that country's independence.

On Wednesday morning (25 July), Caymanian multi-media artist Luelan Bodden presented the Premier, Hon. McKeeva Bush, OBE, JP, with the elegant creation, to illustrate a streamer-tailed hummingbird (national bird of Jamaica) feeding on nectar from an open hibiscus.

The Premier will present the artwork at an independence gala and ball at the Marriott Ballroom on Friday evening (27 July).

Thanking Mr. Bodden for what he termed "a wonderful piece of art", Mr. Bush noted the nearly 380 year relationship between Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. The artwork, he said, was a good illustration of the Cayman Islands artists' feeling of connectivity to the Jamaican community. In addition, it was particularly gratifying that the artwork was crafted out of indigenous materials and by a local artist, who was so generous in spirit as not to only conceive of the piece, but to donate the results of his many days of work as a twin gesture to the people of Jamaica and the Government of the Cayman Islands, in awareness of current budget challenges.

"I am privileged to accept this wonderful piece of art by Mr. Bodden and privileged to join with him to show appreciation and celebrate with for our neighbouring island," Mr. Bush added.


Conch Shells and Sleek Mahogany

Artist Luelan Bodden's craft piece took him two months to complete. He used six conch shells to depict a jewel-bright hummingbird suspended above an ingeniously crafted hibiscus flower with gleaming 'petals'.

The polished piece is also stained strategically with a few acrylic colours to highlight the natural beauty of the conch shell, and the bird's plumage represents the Jamaican flag's colours of black, gold and green.

In addition, he carefully sandblasted, on another piece of conch shell, the crests of the Cayman Islands and Jamaican Governments side by side, symbolising their neighbourliness.

He said the artwork also features, on yet another shell, crystals sealed in a transparent medium that absorb sunlight and turn luminous at night.

For the base, his choice was wood from a 70 year-old mahogany tree from East End that was blown down during a storm.

The two glistening tiers, on which the flower rests, reveal all the beauty of the hardwood that previously grew in abundance in Grand Cayman, when timber formed one of the Island's early cash crops.

For further information contact: Bina Mani