Continuing with what seems to be a trend highlighting local artistry and talents, Sandyport Beaches Resort and Hotel recently commissioned Bahamian artist Attila Feszt to complete a large-scale public mural livening up the pathway leading to the beach and Blue Sail Restaurant. Depicting sea life in tropical hues, the work fits in appropriately with its surroundings, as the Sandyport canal is known as a habitat for occasional aquatic visitors, who include manatees and stingrays. The piece is easily the largest public artwork in the Sandyport community and occupies a space 12’ tall and 90’ wide.
The idea came from Hotel President Rowena Jones, whose leadership has seen the resort incorporate designs from local fabric factory and boutique, Bahama Hand Prints, and signage from Abaco-based multimedia artist Kim Roberts.
Known for his work reflecting The Bahamas’ natural surroundings – and, more specifically, those of his hometown, Hope Town, Abaco – Feszt finds inspiration in the everyday and elements of his natural environment, like wildlife and plants.
“Normally when I’m on my way to go surfing I take special care to see what stands out, and will come back and do sketches of ideas,” he explained.
In creating work, his objective is to show “things that give a similar feel as the more traditional art, but showing it in a different way that lets you appreciate it from another perspective. I enjoy looking at simple elements of the landscape rather than the entire landscape.”
The mural is not Feszt’s first. The artist was commissioned previously by National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB) Director Amanda Coulson and former NAGB Chief Curator John Cox to complete the work jazzing up walls at the gallery’s Mixed Media store. His talents have also been recruited on a private basis and internationally; he has completed several murals at Playa Grande Surf Camp based in Costa Rica.
“Working from a sketchbook or computer is no comparison, scale-wise, to a huge mural. It really opens up your creativity and encourages you to work from a different headspace,” he said.
The enjoyment of working on a large piece was not the only way he benefited from participating in the project. Voted one of New Providence’s top resort, the Sandyport hotel is a popular choice for visitors, and the public work will ensure that Feszt continues to gain significant exposure with both locals and international guests.
“Resort guests would walk by daily on their way to the beach, and stop and admire it and offer encouraging words. And every day they would see more progress and comment on that too,” he recalled. “Also, all the boaters leaving Sandyport would shout out their appreciation. It was hard work, as I was on a tight deadline, and hearing that really kept my motivation up.”
In a nod to the Sandyport Resort’s and community’s atmosphere of seaside tranquility, Feszt’s piece offers an easy and calming sample of Bahamian art and complementing design element.
His others works can be found at the NAGB Mixed Media shop, Sandyport salon Studio Vivo and Marsh Harbour coffee house Bliss.
To find out more about the artist, visit his website www.maeter.com.