Davin Ebanks Awarded Top Prize in 2nd Cayman Islands Biennial
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.