Wed | Feb 26, 2020

Exhibition honours Barrington Watson

Published:Sunday | November 17, 2019 | 12:33 AM
Doreen Watson opens Sebastian Elliott’s exhibition.
Ceramist David Dunn and his wife view the works of Sebastian Elliott.
Rural Experience 2, oil on canvas by Sebastian Elliott.

The Last Student of Barrington Watson, which opened recently at the Gene Pearson Gallery, features works by Sebastian Elliott, showcasing over 20 original oil paintings that focus on the artist’s journey and the influence of his former teacher and mentor Barrington Watson.

Doreen Watson, who opened the exhibition, spoke fondly of Elliott’s recounting how he became a student of her late husband, “I first met Sebastian as a young aspiring artist when he visited Barrington’s gallery in 2007. He was motivated to become a student of Barrington, however, Barrington had two other students at that time and was reluctant to take on another, especially someone who lived in Mandeville. Sebastian was very persistent and implored Barrington to give him the honour of being a student until Barrington eventually relented. It was quite torturous to observe the commitments Sebastian made to travel to Orange Park for tutoring, but he was determined. Barrington would award Sebastian a certificate of recognition for his tireless dedication to the arts.”

Mrs Watson would culminate the nature of the relationship between mentor and student, saying, “One day, I overheard Barrington saying to Sebastian, ‘Sometimes the student surpasses the teacher. But wait nuh man, don’t rush it.’”

The exhibition comprises over 20 realist oil paintings of portraits, figuratives, and landscapes showing aspects of the Jamaican rural experience through painting and composition. Elliott’s aesthetic and subject matter are cognisant of his years under Watson’s tutelage, and his strong academic training and respect for his mentor is evident in his works. Half of the works on exhibition are nude portraits of women, showing Elliott’s love and celebration of the female figure, much like his mentor.

Elliott studied art at Northern Caribbean University (NCU). He has participated in numerous local and international exhibitions in countries such as the United States, Canada, Trinidad, The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, India, Italy, and Jamaica.

Most recently, his works were on display at Artquake 2, which took place in Nigde, Turkey, in September, as part of a group exhibition. Elliott will also be participating in another group showing in Istanbul, Turkey, in April 2020.

The Last Student of Barrington Watson, a solo exhibition by Sebastian Elliott, is on till November 9 at the Gene Pearson Gallery, R Hotel, 2 Renfrew Road, Kingston.