Bermuda

Greetings from our first mural overseas!

This piece of public art was completely inspired by elements that make Bermuda unique. The mural measures 35 x 25’ starting at about 14’ off the ground. We completed this piece in April 2019 with the assistance of London born, New York based artist Dominic Corry. Greetings from Bermuda is our 36th postcard style mural. 

We first visited Bermuda in January 2019 to research the island and to photograph original content to paint inside the letters. We got a little taste of the Bermuda Triangle on our arriving flight when just the back wheels touched down before we were up in the air again because of strong winds. Eventually, we made it safely. We drove (on the left side of the road) the 22 mile stretch of land that lies in the Atlantic Ocean - not Caribbean. Maybe it was the Beach Boys that confused every, but Bermuda has the same latitude as Charleston, South Carolina.

After four days of exploring, it was clear what to paint. For the imagery inside the letters we chose to feature: pastel colored cottages with limestone stepped roofs that filter rainwater, weathered island landscapes, moongates that symbolize good luck for newlyweds, red telephone booths showcasing British roots and the forts of the Royal Dockyards.

The style of the lettering for this specific mural was designed to be light, airy and clean which are all characteristics of how we would also describe the island to someone that has never been. We chose to keep the overall feel fresh and soothing, directly inspired by Bermuda. One of the spray paint colors we’re using is actually called Bermuda and the tone matches perfectly in real life to the ocean water here!

Note: if you’re visiting Bermuda, don’t drink water from a house that has a dirty roof!

The roofing evolved over time from palm leaves to shingles and then finally builders cut steps into roofs to slow down heavy rainfall. Harvesting rainwater in Bermuda is critical because there are no natural fresh water springs or lakes. The rain is collected from the roofs then goes into underground tanks. Each house is self-sufficient encouraging islanders to conserve water.

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We returned to the island after getting work permits to execute our design and to take in some more beautiful scenery. We arrived after a 12hr layover in New York from Albuquerque, NM ready to paint. The Montana spray paint had to be shipped by freight in advance. We got our background colors at Pembroke, a local paint store in Hamilton. Something we learned is that Bermuda has a law to protect its community from franchises. There are no chain stores on the island other than KFC which had already been there before the law went into action.

We gathered the rest of our supplies and began painting with the largest lifts we’ve ever worked with! The mural took a total of 5 days to paint. Every day we’d wake up around 6:30AM, eat breakfast then walk 15 minutes from the hotel to the mural. The walk was filled with fragrant flowers, loud birds and views of the sparkling ocean with constant boats floating by.

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We felt at ease painting in Bermuda. Other than being easy on the eyes, the main inspiration always comes from the locals. We learned how diverse the population is and how well everyone gets along. We saw people everywhere waving across the street to their friends and it felt like everyone knew everyone. The closeness of people and their commitment to tradition says a lot about their pride for the country.

As always, working in a public space, we get a lot of different reactions while we paint. Most Bermudians were happy to see us adding colorful art to their city of Hamilton. One in particular named Allison stopped to talk with Lisa for a while. She was complimenting how perfectly we represented Bermuda and as she was about to leave, she mentioned adding a Bermuda Longtail (bird) would make it even better. For every mural, we do like to keep some wiggle room for suggestions from the locals and after hearing her input and seeing the birds ourselves around the island, it was crucial.

Greetings from Bermuda photo prints are available for purchase at our print shop.

Letter Guide:

B — Bermudian architecture 

E — Tobacco Bay 

R — Tobacco Bay

M — Moongate

U — Dockyards

D — Dockyards, longtail bird

A — British style telephone booth

Press:

‘Greetings From Bermuda’ Art Mural Unveiled

Spelling out Bermuda’s attractions

 

Location: Dorchester House, Hamilton, Bermuda

This mural was commissioned by Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club. Thank you to all involved.

Lisa Beggs