Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Images of Bermuda

Here's a few random images from my vacation. Above, lush vegetation with a glimpse of the ocean on the path to Horseshoe Bay beach. I remember before I ever saw water that beautiful shade of turquoise I assumed it was always faked in a photo studio. Water that color still makes me giddy every time I see it.

Bermuda's towns are impossibly tidy. The occasional challenge to the nearly immaculate and unchallenged sense of order was a shirtless Rastafarian: here one guy dozes in a hollow tree, displaying a series of complicated shrine-like works of art. Click on the photo to see the one at left with black-and-white Barbie dolls. Elsewhere I saw an apparently homeless dreadlocked man dive into a shady spot on a lush green lawn outside the early 19th-century Historical Society building as though it were a featherbed; it was oddly sensual, an unselfconscious expression of necessity in a place where a lot of money seems to be spent on keeping things just so.

I found the palette of color used by Bermudians on their houses deeply affecting: I wish I had more time to study and photograph them. Not just pale pastel colors but rich blues, turqoises, pinks, yellows, lime greens: the colors of water, of nature, of the sky, of the sun. Here's a completely inadequate sampling.

We visited a beautiful and thought-provoking show in the corner of the Bermuda Society of Arts gallery, entitled "Black Apartheid" by the local artist Manuel Palacio. It was a head-on confrontation of racism and racial attitudes in Bermuda, and a scathing critique of Bermuda's government. In addition to the piece above entitled "I Hate White People" (read the names of the streets on its map-like display), there was a biting attack on Bermuda's (black) parliamentarians done up like an Al Pacino "Scarface" poster and Warhol-esque paintings of those parliamentarians in whiteface. When you're a tourist you don't usually get much insight into the three-dimensional realities of life behind the pretty colors; it was rewarding to get a peek into them via this artwork.

Photos by me except for the artwork at bottom from the Bermuda Society of the Arts. Click on the images to see them larger.