Chantal Bethel and Lyndah Wells are two of the three artists working on our new project HATTITUDES. (I’m the 3rd and yes, the one who will be recording the story of our fashionable island ladies and their love of hats). So, I thought it would be appropriate to introduce both of them to you, even though they are each very well-known and loved here on Grand Bahama.
Chantal Bethel, born in Haiti and educated in Belgium has lived in The Bahamas for over 30 years. Having studied Business Administration in Belgium, she worked in that field for almost two decades before her life changed direction when she began her journey as an artist. As a painter, she trained with master artists Jeannie Dobie in Belgium, Selina Trieff in the USA and Antonius Roberts in The Bahamas, who continues as her mentor today. She went on to pursue further studies in painting and drawing at the Haliburton School of the Arts in Canada. A 2006 encounter with fallen palm fronds while out taking a walk gave birth to a new vision: transforming the crown shaft of the Royal Palm tree into a sculptural medium. This intuitive process developed into her Royal Collection. Chantal’s paintings and sculptures can be found in many private and public collections in The Bahamas and abroad. Most recently one of her works was selected for the permanent collection in the Haitian Embassy in Washington D.C.
Lyndah Wells was born in Nigeria and raised in England before moving to Grand Bahama five years ago. Always passionate about art, design and beauty, and with a background in graphic design, Lyndah was soon capturing the beauty of The Bahamas and its inhabitants through the lens of her camera. She quickly developed a devoted following for her original concepts and beautifully shot photographs. Her interest in high fashion and her innate sensitivity to subject matter, whether it be portraits or magazine fashion shoots, is giving her an increasingly well recognized name both here and abroad. She has been featured in several international magazines and websites including: Nu Woman Magazine, Stylezine Magazine, Bahamas Investor, Keep the Faith Magazine and Bella Naija’s online blog. Her love of photography radiates from her images.
And as for me, Laurie Tuchel, my degree in anthropology combined with a passion for exploring the people and culture of my adopted Bahamaland, has led me to delve further into the heritage of Grand Bahama. I moved to Grand Bahama 8 years ago after living in England and the United States for many years with my husband and family. I am a Co-Founder of the Grand Bahama Heritage Foundation and believe completely in the importance of exhibiting and preserving the island’s history…. and where little or no artifacts exist, I believe that the use of art to showcase that history can provide a refreshing new way to look at the concept of heritage. I hope that as you read about our journey HATTITUDES, you too will enjoy getting to know the people of Grand Bahama as they share their stories… and hats… with us!