ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | 'Love and Fear' by Dyah Neilson

It is with a happy heart that we announce our latest muse, Dyah Neilson, who is riding the ‘first solo exhibition’ high having just presented at Doongalik Studios earlier this month. This bold, bright collection - ‘Love & Fear’, depicts things perhaps a little less buoyant on our island - the very real battle with mental health. Dyah’s use of beaming, whimsy blues render comforting island scenes drawing the viewer in while a deeper, subliminal message stirs from beneath the waves. The Bahamas is crippled with a stigma surrounding mental heath and so these conversations are often swept out to sea, if you will. The collection is so intentionally approachable, giving mental illness a positive portrayal, something that can be overcome with love and support.

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | John Cox IN THE RAW

For many, woodworking is rather simple. It involves cutting larger boards into smaller boards and then arranging them in a particular way to create something useful. For others, carpentry is the expression of creativity and emotion. I think Daniel’s work begs the question of whether or not carpentry can be considered both. Although he has only just begun to skim the surface of this previously dormant dexterity, Daniel has surpassed ‘craftsman’, he is without doubt an artist. Daniel’s desire to create using this timeless material transcends the possibilities of woodworking as we knew it. His distinctive work isn’t necessarily taking advantage of the flashiest technology but rather honing in on the traditional woodcraft techniques with the addition of whimsy, bright semblance. Daniel’s commitment to work wood by hand is not so much nostalgic but more because of his innate appetite for organic creation. The result is more nuanced and spontaneous with the colours of the Caribbean speckled throughout.

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | June Collie

With an eye for feminine emotion a distinctive whimsicalness about her colour scheme, June's latest body of work powerfully captures her desire to tell stories of those around her. June's expressive portrayal of women and their many roles in Bahamian society shed light on bold themes all within the confines of a vibrant but deliberate painting. The hues of Caribbean life flow from one painting to the next as though they all share a deep interconnectedness. With a mindfulness about her, June methodically selects her muse, story and dearest pattern notebook and carves the path for her next masterpiece. The best way to experience this lush and evolving collection is to pay June a visit at her studio perch amongst the artistic backdrop that is The Current and watch her tirelessly create.

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THE RESTO MANIFESTO | Da Vine, Harbour Island

We’ve canvassed our epicurean inner circle and devised a guide that will become your “last meal” lifeline to eating your way around this soulful archipelago. Today we find ourselves perusing the frilled shores of Harbour Island. With an appetite for flamboyant dishes we wound up at Da Vine, a wine bar gone innovative Japanese extraordinaire with an island ethos that keeps them coming! Sushi is a major food group nowadays, in fact its practically a religion with a devoted following, which it is completely entitled to. And so the ever-famed California Roll has made it’s way down the west coastline, riding Nobu’s sesame encrusted coattails, right the way down to Briland’s merry shores. Da Vine is an island “high street” dining venue with the former head chef of Nobu Atlantis at the helm and the highest grades of whatever is running in his arsenal. Da Vine is the island's compact, buzzing harbourside culinary cottage well worth your greatest and most voracious appetite. The curious combinations of the freshest ingredients from on island and around the world are all the more enjoyable against a Briland sunset.

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Daniel Belton - 'Da Pallet Man'

For many, woodworking is rather simple. It involves cutting larger boards into smaller boards and then arranging them in a particular way to create something useful. For others, carpentry is the expression of creativity and emotion. I think Daniel’s work begs the question of whether or not carpentry can be considered both. Although he has only just begun to skim the surface of this previously dormant dexterity, Daniel has surpassed ‘craftsman’, he is without doubt an artist. Daniel’s desire to create using this timeless material transcends the possibilities of woodworking as we knew it. His distinctive work isn’t necessarily taking advantage of the flashiest technology but rather honing in on the traditional woodcraft techniques with the addition of whimsy, bright semblance. Daniel’s commitment to work wood by hand is not so much nostalgic but more because of his innate appetite for organic creation. The result is more nuanced and spontaneous with the colours of the Caribbean speckled throughout.

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ISLAND ARCH NOTES | The Buena Vista

Making for a strong start, there is no better island abode to begin with than ‘The Buena Vista’— Nassau’s optimal outpost. With varying influences playing a role, The Buena Vista hosts some iconically Bahamian architectural aesthetics well worth a ponder. This island contour first appears in the Colony’s records in 1788 and has since then, fallen through the hands of many and I’m certain would be good for a story or two. Housing an array of characters over the years, The Buena Vista welcomed with open arms, all that the trade winds swept in. From 18th century glamour to the blazing days of blockade running, this hilltop relic has been modernized but remains distinctively Bahamian. And folks, the glory days are far from over - The Buena Vista is one of the best preserved artifacts that our archipelago has to offer.

A sketch from then and now…

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | DC Pratt and the Chan Pratt Foundation

If only this, it is our civic duty to value and preserve the rich island antiquity of our composite culture. The arts, deeply intertwined within our strewn archipelago, are a visual continuum of The Bahamas from then until now. Chan Pratt sits prominently on our historical mantle with his iconic botanics and precise clapboard portrayals celebrating the intrinsic vibrance so closely equated with ‘island life’. DC has tasked himself with preserving the legacy of his father through the creation of an organization - The Chan Pratt Foundation. With emphasis on empowerment, DC offers aspiring young artists the chance to recognize their talents and in doing so, overcome the powerlessness and lack of influence that they feel quashed by. With an indomitable spirit, DC is making waves in the art realm, casting his father’s uplifting, iconic summery blooms where needed most.

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INTRODUCING | Island Arch Notes

Welcome to ‘Island Arch Notes’, a series delving into the unique geography and history of this island nation which has shaped our distinctive architectural style. From Eleuthera to Crooked Island, our buildings are as colorful as they are rich in history. Although the notion of ‘island life’ is often equated with beaches, tropical drinks and thatched roofs, The Bahamas’ architectural style has been emulated, perfected and standardized throughout the West Indies. With varying influences playing a role, Bahamian architecture has many layers to it. Whether you’re scanning the horizon for an island venue or looking for your next vacation rental, here are some Bahamian architectural aesthetics to ponder in your summery daze.

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The Resto Manifesto | Island Brothers & Cie

We’ve canvassed our epicurean inner circle and devised a guide that will become your “last meal” lifeline to eating your way around this soulful archipelago. The first stop is one for haute cuisine like no other, the ever elegant, ‘Island Brother’s & Cie’. A new fine dining temple executed by Luke Ducasse celebrates the French Bistro under the precise hands of Chef Exécutif, Thomas Deoux. With Parisian beginnings under a distinguished chef who doubled as a father, Island Brothers was carved with fond memories of the beloved cobblestoned city paired with the first-of-its-kind top-tier gourmet in Nassau. The menu ambitiously coaxes refined French flavors whilst peppering dishes with island-fresh sensations. With one of the best atmospheres around, Island Brother's has always got crisp, vibrant salads, exceptional meats and well-prepared plats du jour on offer.

Well, when in France… Bon Appétit !

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Tessa Whitehead 2.0

With a distinctive taste for landscapes, particularly those of the islands, Tessa’s latest work powerfully captures her empirical conception of the complexities of Caribbean life. Tessa’s distinguished collection tellingly titled, “…there are always two deaths”, a line borrowed from ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’, is an expressive portrayal of loss and lamenting. Tessa’s work touches on many bold themes including matriarchal identification, alienation and marriage. Her artistic exploration of an intrinsic relationship existing between women and nature is felt deeply. The lush, tropical island backdrop seems like an idyllic landscape for healing; however, with hints of agonizing irony, these tropical inlets are entrenched in a turbulent history which proves a difficult place to search for the warmth of understanding.

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Lillian Blades

To the untrained eye, Lillian Blade’s textured, colorful rebellion may seem like an improvised outburst of creativity. However, Lillian's work goes way deeper than that. Her mixed-media collages capture memories and embody self-discovery while paying homage to her island-roots. With a consciousness about her, Lillian sifts through objects, random to some but symbolic to her, which morph into large-scale assemblages that provoke an intense sense of wonder.

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | SOFIA WHITEHEAD

In this episode, we continue to explore the Bahamian photography scene, this time though the lens of “island gal” Sofia Whitehead. Sofia has been making quite a splash recently with the publication of her coffee table book Bahama Mama “Portraits & Wisdom from the Mothers of Bahamian Society,” a two-and-a-half-year quest for maternal percipience, for across the breadth of our island nation. However, Sofia’s work goes beyond investigating the colourful depths of her homeland culture; her travel photography shows is a jet-set dreamscape - a celebration of the vivid palette of humanity at large. Read on…

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SAVOUR CACIQUE | BON VIVANTS

This is The Bahamas after all, and our tropical climate is perfectly-suited to the business of quenching thirst. But there is quenching thirst and there is quenching thirst in style - as Ernest Hemmingway would surely attest to. So it comes as no surprise that this authoritative figure on how to live life well should be a key inspiration in Nassau’s hippest new hedonistic hideaway. Welcome to another episode of #SavourCacique in which we waltz first-through-the door to Bon Vivants — a place where the promise of “living well” is completely attainable.

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Introducing | The Resto Manifesto

I am thrilled to introduce Cacique’s RESTO MANIFESTO, a well-seasoned, impassioned guide to The Bahamas’ rapidly-evolving culinary scene. Over the past decade, we have seen a great gastronomic shift in The Bahamas. As we cultivate savvy palettes, bolstered by the diversity of travel and globalized communities, Bahamian restauranteurs have begun aggressively taking up slack. Nassau alone boasts an eclectic array of innovative, distinctive restaurants. Chefs today thoughtfully conceive culinary experiences that combine aesthetics, community and consumption, with our food scene becoming as sophisticated and diverse as our thriving art scene. In this first episode, we take a deeper dive into our journey towards culinary enlightenment while investigating what makes The Bahamas unique as a culinary destination.

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Discover Cacique | Solomon’s Lighthouse

Inspired by a love of lighthouses, and everything that they represent, Mr Fern Solomon dreamed up a home in the clouds, a perch on a limestone pedestal with watery views fit for a king. For us at Cacique, Solomon’s Lighthouse is the perfect capstone in our Lighthouse Series as it represents the transformation of dreams into reality, which is at the very core of what we do. We salute you Mr Solomon, as a visionary who looked beyond the horizon and just Imagined the possibilities…

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Melissa Alcena

Welcome back to Cacique’s Artist In The Spotlight series - a journey into a thriving Bahamian art scene and a look at some of our most celebrated artists, as well as the movers and shakers garnering a name for themselves on island and around the world. For this episode, I had the distinct pleasure of chatting with Bahamian photographer Melissa Alcena, whose honest, arresting documentary photography has captured the attention of the island nation, as well as a not-too-shabby publication by the name of Vogue.

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Discover Cacique | Balcony House

Located in the heart of historic downtown Nassau sits “Balcony House,” constructed in the 1770’s by loyalist settlers. Having fallen through a number of well-to-do families, the home has seen a party or two in its time. As trends have come and gone, this architectural treasure has withstood the tides of time, retaining the same shade of pastel pink that is etched into the memories of many. In this episode of Discover Cacique, we delve into this charming Market Street perch, which has now been converted into a delightful museum. Welcome, you can leave your Panama hat at the door…

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ARTIST IN THE SPOTLIGHT | Diving Deep With Lynn Parotti

As scientific evidence of man-made climate change hasn’t been enough to convince the world to take action, then perhaps it’s up to the artists to make an emotional appeal, rather than a statistical one. Lynn Parotti’s breathtaking collection, “Time Under Tension” on display at the D’Aguilar Art Foundation attempts to affront its audience with the dire situation our oceans are faced with.

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