Shane Eastmond is one of the masterminds behind the ever-growing art event, Splash. He recently held his first exhibition at Drift Beach Hotel, where he shared with Bajan Vibes who he was and his intentions to take art to the next level.
The 24 year-old artist has always been into art and his decision to pursue it as a career was one fully supported by his family. “I loved art and I always did very well in art so it was truly no surprise for my parents that I continued using my talent,” he said.
Noting that his mom is into interior designing and from a young age he would often assist her in selecting patterns and textures, he said: “At primary school when everyone was drawing stick figures, my stick figures had shoes and shoes with laces. I always paid attention to details.”
Shane said despite the fact that he was good at technical drawing, and even considered architecture and did information technology and programming for quite some time, he was led to the Barbados Community College fine arts programme in 2010 and it was there that he would hone his raw talent.
“One of my tutors who took an interest in me introduced me to Jackson Pollock and Pablo Picasso and just showed me that art doesn’t always have to be about realism and that is where my imagination kicked off,” he said.
His style of art is very definitive. With a pen in hand, acrylic paint beside him and music playing, Shane sets out to work . “The work itself is such an amazing experience. It really is an adventure when you start because you never know where the piece is going to go until it completes itself. When I’m working on a piece, I don’t sit and plan the end result. So it’s a surprise to me as well especially when I get into my zone,” he said, showing Bajan Vibes his very first drawing of what has now become his signature hummingbird.
“When I was at BCC, I was studying animal forms, breaking them down into lines, shapes and textures and reconstructing them. I was also studying sound and how to illustrate it using imagery and during one of my classes a few years later,I started to draw a hummingbird and I slowly caught myself capturing its movement and exaggerating it,” he said.
It would be that very drawing of the hummingbird that birthed his visual language of ‘capturing movement and exaggerating it’. It was the response he got from his portfolio at BCC in 2012 that propelled him forward. “At the end of the semester, we had to showcase our work and I got a very good response and it was then I started to believe this was something I could do professionally and five years later, here I am making plans to build my first studio and create more work, larger work with the same level of detail.”
Inspired by many things, Shane was very intrigued by one artist in particular. “Ian McCarthy is an artist that I discovered not long after I discovered my style of art and his style is similar and it truly inspires me” he said. Closer to home, Shane is inspired by long time friend, now business partner Kevon Hall.
“Von went to school with me and he is an exceptional artist. Kevon and I have been on the art scene for a long time and we just wanted to get our art out there but we found it difficult and I just decided one night ‘let’s just go out, find a spot and start live painting’. My uncle has a place in St Lawrence Gap called Fire and Soul and we went there for a few nights and although it wasn’t a big turnout, it was a start.”
He added: “From there, we moved to Cocktail Kitchen to capture a different crowd and Kevon and I, the founders of Splash, did about three events there and Splash just continued to grow because it was a unique vibe that people fell in love with and now we have moved to Drift and Splash which is becoming a platform for artists.”
Adding that Splash is merely one entity, Shane went on: “We are creating a movement for artists, where we make Barbados a different place for artists, a place where artists can thrive and make a living. Being an artist in Barbados is both good and bad because it’s amazing being surrounded by so many talented artists but there really is no infrastructure or galleries, so it is hard.”
“The art that is appreciated here is Caribbean art and there is more to art than Caribbean art. There is more to art than painting portraits of a sno cone man and beaches. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that. I’m just saying that there is more to explore.”