Sunday, 21 April 2013

LAURA FACEY: The creative genius on controversy, meeting her fans, and what's up next

WE ARE FAMILY: Facey (right), with aunt Phyllis Ward and cousin Allan Ward at Sunday's Liguanea Art Festival.

In addition to spellbinding works of art, the name Laura Facey has become synonymous with creations that offer compelling reminders of art's power to stir deep emotion and even give way to controversy. 

At Sunday's Liguanea Art Festival, none of these brow-raising pieces are on view inside Facey's chic, tastefully spare booth. Instead, viewers are treated to examples of her sheer brilliance with wood and knack for masterful minimalism. She lets out a gorgeous laugh when I make mention of this. "My intention is never to be controversial, but if I don't provoke something what's the point," says the artist, whose most renowned work is the robust Redemption Song, which guards the main entrance to New Kingston's Emancipation Park. 

But, as it turns out, we might not have to wait too long to witness the unveiling of Facey's next masterpiece, which will have folks talking for weeks on end. "Something new is brewing," she reveals, with a mischievous sparkle in her eyes. "I can't tell too much just yet, but I'm working on it." 

Facey has nothing but high praises for the organizers of the Ligueanea Art Fest, currently in its 10th year, which she says offers a fabulous portal for local art lovers to meet some of their favourite artists and invest in new pieces for their collections. "It's a great way for the public to meet the artists in a very face-to-face manner," Facey says. "It's also a fun atmosphere. I find it very interesting. We have great conversations with the patrons." 

She also wants to see the festival flourish, as it enters its second decade. "It is growing and I love it. Yes, this is only my second year. And I took a long time to come, but I missed it entirely. I am very happy to be here. It's been absolutely wonderful," admits the St. Ann-based artist, who relishes a good swim in the sea and breezy walks. "I'm a bit of a nature girl." 

Facey, who has decades' worth of experience under her belt, says her evolution continues. "I feel like I'm getting stronger, blossoming, if I may be so bold as to say that," she says. "I really am getting into gear." What's next for this superbusy creator? "Well, I'm hoping to have an exhibition in London in September. So I'm preparing for that," she says, adding that the exhibit will feature fresh pieces as well as a selection of her classics. "It will be a bit of both. The old and the new works."

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