Davin Ebanks Awarded Top Prize in 2nd Cayman Islands Biennial

Davin Ebanks with Marlena Anglin, another award winning artist, who’s silver thatch ground basket formed the inspiration and mold for his glass installation.
Davin Ebanks, M.F.A. '10 and assistant professor of glass at the School of Art, was awarded the top prize in the 2nd Cayman Islands Biennial. The biennial, “Reimagined Futures," featured contemporary Caymanian art that explored the collective future of the islands and its inhabitants. The exhibition was on view at the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands and other local venues from April 21 through Aug. 27, 2021 and was curated by Natalie Urquhart, Kerri-Anne Chisholm, Paige Jordison, William Helfrecht, and Maia Muttoo.

Ebanks took top honors by winning the Bendel Hyde’s Award for his blown glass sculptures that reference traditional Caymanian thatch baskets. His work "Ground Basket Pair ('Drunk with rum / Feasting on a strange cassava / Yielding to new words and a weak palabra…') was inspired by another award winning artist,  Marlena Anglin, who’s silver thatch ground basket formed the inspiration and pattern for his stunning glass installation.

The curators said in a statement, “This pair of traditional Caymanian ground baskets elevates the utilitarian object to the status of a precious commodity, a process that is achieved through an almost alchemical form of artistic transformation. In place of the natural texture of woven silver thatch, the artist has illusionistically rendered his subject in silvered glass, lending the baskets a burnished glow that seems to radiate from within. As a symbol of our own contemporary era, the ‘Midas touch’ that has transformed these objects into a work of sculpture might also warn of the erosion of Caymanian cultural traditions in the face of modernity’s relentless progress.”

Images: (top left) The winning sculpture: Ground Basket Pair (“Drunk with rum / Feasting on a strange cassava / Yielding to new words and a weak palabra…”) [Excerpt: Conversion, Jean Toomer], Blown & Silvered Glass, 10H x 12D x 12W inches each, 2021; (top right) Natalie Urquhart, Director of the National Gallery of the Cayman Islands, presents Davin Ebanks with the Bendel Hydes Award; (within text) Davin poses with Marlena Anglin, who’s silver thatch ground basket formed the inspiration and pattern for Davin’s glass sculptures.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 11:18am
UPDATED: Thursday, October 14, 2021 - 2:18pm