Sun | Apr 26, 2015

Dawn Scott never stopped working

Published:Sunday | September 26, 2010
Poupeye
Dawn Scott's 'Indian Girl'. - Contributed photos
Dawn Scott's 'Cultural Object.'
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Howard Campbell, Gleaner Writer

The respected Jamaican artist and designer Dawn Scott died September 21 at St Joseph's Hospital in St Andrew at age 59.

Ann Hodges, who collaborated with Scott on several architectural projects, was at the hospital when she died. Hodges told The Sunday Gleaner that Scott was ailing for some time but did not know the cause of death.

The two were working on the multimillion-dollar expansion of leisure-industry magnate Chris Blackwell's Goldeneye property in Oracabessa, St Mary at the time of Scott's passing.

"Just a few days before her death she was still coming up with ideas. She never stopped working," Hodges said.

The Mandeville-born Scott had branched off into interior design and architectural detailing in the latter half of her artistic career. Working with Hodges' Kingston 10 Architects, she was responsible for finishing the Island Village complex in Ocho Rios; her solo work included designing the historic Harmony Hall mansion in Tower Isle, St Mary and the Akbar restaurant in St Andrew.

Scott's early work was as a painter. Her first exhibition, a showcase of drawings, paintings and sculptures, took place in 1971 at the United States Information Service headquarters in Kingston.

Versatile

Veerle Poupeye, executive director at the National Gallery of Jamaica said versatility was a hallmark of Scott's career.

"She was active in the whole range of the arts. She was very strong in batik which is technically challenging," said Poupeye.

Batik, an exotic form of textile dyeing popular in Asia, was Scott's forte. It was the focus of 'Nature Vive', her last solo exhibition which took place in 1995 at the Grosvenor Galleries in St Andrew.

"Dawn was very good with colours, very scientific. Because she did batik, it enhanced her work as a designer," Hodges said.

Local critics believe Scott's most impressive showing was at the 'Six Options: Gallery Spaces Transformed' show at the National Gallery in 1985. It was said to be the first exhibition of installation art in Jamaica.

Scott also taught textile at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts. She was awarded the Institute of Jamaica's Centenary Medal in 1979 and a Bronze Musgrave Medal for merit in the Visual Arts in 1999.

Dawn Scott, who is survived by two daughters, is the latest member of the local arts community to die this year. Painter Albert Huie died in Baltimore, Maryland in January while artist Seya Parboosingh passed away in August.