Botanical Banter opened in the Rick Faries Gallery on Friday October 27 and was available to view until Tuesday, November 21, 2023.
Born amidst the pandemic’s solitude, Botanical Banter showcases Cheryl Hastings’ intrinsic bond with Bermuda’s astounding nature. Driven by her lockdown walks, she cultivated an appreciation for plants bearing distinct personalities – the cockeyed cactus, whimsical weeds, and peculiar plants. Harnessing the language of vibrant, contrasting colours, Cheryl brings these quirky plants to life, endowing them with human-like characteristics, each a testimony to nature’s dynamic persona.
Her quest for relationships amongst these silent beings led to compositions hinting at potential friendships, crafting a whimsical narrative. This playful series pays tribute to nature’s untamed spirit and its metamorphosis potential.
As viewers immerse themselves in these narratives, Cheryl encourages the exploration of perceived companionships and possible storylines hidden within her work. As the collection evolved, life unfolded a twist, heralding her departure from Bermuda and a return to the UK. The series thus transformed into a farewell, encapsulating a decade of adventure, personal growth, connections, and lasting friendships in Bermuda.
Cheryl extends her heartfelt gratitude to the Plein Air group for their Sunday painting escapades and inspiration, the KAF family for their creative companionship, and her Coral Beats drumming sisters for joyous vibrations. Acknowledging the school staff, parents, carers, and children she has collaborated with, the welcoming WA family, the kayak club’s paddling adventures, and the Bermudian community’s warmth and neighbourliness, she cherishes the unforgettable moments and supportive friends she met along the way.
Bermuda has enriched Cheryl’s life with its warmth, kindness, and numerous opportunities. It will forever hold a special place in her heart, and she carries with her the unforgettable memories and enduring bonds created during her time on this island paradise. The goodbye is heartfelt; the gratitude profound.