Basil Watson

Basil Watson

For over 24 years, he has been translating life’s important attributes – positive emotions and attitudes, the spirit of freedom and spontaneity, strength, sensuality, energy and vigor – into finely chiseled pieces of art.

Born in Kingston, Jamaica, his childhood dream was to become a sailor or a soccer player. As a teenager in his early years of high school, there was no denying his artistic talent and ability, nor could he ignore the growing affinity to the creative form.  It was therefore a natural progression for him to pursue the four year art program at the Jamaica School of Art (now the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts).

Under the tutelage of his mentors, Jamaican artist, Alexander Cooper and sculptor, Christopher Gonzales, with the quiet support of his father, acclaimed and respected international artist, Barry Watson, and an admiration for the works of French sculptor, Auguste Rodin, he honed his skills to now become a force to be reckoned with in the art world.

Through a strong foundation in drawing, Basil eventually found sculpture which he sees as an excellent medium to capture his fascination with the human form and portray it in a realistic way.   Through the exploration of the language of the body, Basil has depicted exaggerated movement or subtle gestures in the expression of moods, thoughts and feelings.  

Sensuality has always been a strong underlying element within his work.  While he sculpts both sexes, his works primarily celebrate and radiate a greater appreciation of women, whether in thematic pieces, athletic movement or intimate studies of the model.

Basil had developed a preference for modeling and casting in bronze for his dimensional work.   Although he carves wood and stone, and wields mild steel or stainless steel, modeling affords him the total independence and impulsiveness to explore the wide range of movement and emotions of the figure while providing the softness of feel. His work ranges in size from small, intimate pieces to larger than life-sized outdoor sculptures, each one exuding strong, heroic and sensual qualities, whether in quiet repose or in extreme action. 

 He is best represented in galleries in Jamaica – the National Gallery of Jamaica, the Contemporary Art Center and Mutual Life Gallery – and he has the distinction of having his works in each of the three universities in Jamaica: the University of the West Indies, University of Technology (the UTech Sculpture Park) and Northern Caribbean University.  He has commissioned works for the Government of Jamaica, parks, hotels, companies and private individuals in Jamaica.  Fine examples of his work are also included in collections at Savacou Gallery in New York, Mason Murer Gallery in Atlanta Georgia and Hearne Gallery in Little Rock, Arkansas.

 He has participated in exhibitions at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, and most recently, he represented Jamaica in the 7th International Sculpture Symposium in Changchun, China which saw the fusion of different cultures from 26 countries, including Canada, Korea, Gabon, Thailand, Guatemala, Paraguay, Namibia and El Salvador.  It was here he completed a life-sized sculpture “Earth to Heaven”, which is displayed in the renowned sculpture park which displays over 300 works representative of more than 115 countries.

Most recently, he created “Balance” a life sized bronzed sculpture which is mounted on Doctor’s cave Beach in Montego Bay Jamaica. Doctor’s Cave is among the Island nation’s most visited beaches and the Caribbean’s most popular tourist destinations.-

-Cherie-Ann Byfield