Worldwide attention for Johnnie Walker statue
A Bermudian artist has given a historic whisky brand’s logo an island flavour.
Jaylaka Jayathunga painted a statue of the 111-year-old “striding man” logo used by global Scotch whisky firm Johnnie Walker as part of worldwide drive to create customised versions of the Regency dandy.
Ms Jayathunga used a palette of bright shades of turquoise and pastel colours to Bermudianise the statue, whose original colour was gold. Ezekiel Stoneham, of Burrows Lightbourn, distributor of the brand, said the company kept one of its three statues and gave the other two to Bermudian artists to customise for last month’s Bermuda Carnival celebrations and for later display at the Masterworks gallery in the Botanical Gardens, Paget.
Mr Stoneham said that he was on the lookout for “young, hungry artists,” and contacted Ms Jayathunga on Instagram.
He added: “I didn’t give her any directions, just a chance to personalise and localise the statue, as long as it represented Bermuda.”
One of the statues, painted by Alshante Foggo, was damaged during Carnival and was unfit for display.
Mr Stoneham said the commission was difficult for Ms Jayathunga because she started work just a week before Carnival was to begin.
A Burrows Lightbourn spokesman said: “To provide a little context behind why we are so appreciative of the artist and the artwork shown.
“Ms Jayathunga was contacted a few weeks prior to the Bermuda Carnival to inquire if the Johnnie Walker statue could be completed in time for Carnival, as it was earmarked to be displayed at GLOW Bermuda, one of the headliner events for the weekend.”
“She gladly agreed, but said that due to her studies abroad, she would not be back on island to complete the project until two weeks before the deadline.
“And, unfortunately, the statue was still in the process of being repaired due to damage incurred when she arrived.”
But the spokesman said Ms Jayathunga began work on the statue on a Tuesday and was finished by the Friday.
He added: “The statue became ready a week before the event. Jaylaka then arrived at our warehouse with nothing but a bag of brushes and spray paint, armed with an EZ-Up canopy and a few bottles of Icelandic water.
“Jaylaka spent three days from 8am to 6pm in the blistering Bermuda summer heat completing the project.”
Burrows Lightbourn said it was happy with the result.
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