This Installation, one of the pieces exhibited in Bethel's "A Tear and A Smile" is about healing.
In this latest display of Bethel’s artistic expression, tears are a conduit through which we arrive at healing, and are far from being a sign of a weak or broken spirit. In fact, they are essential to the process of healing, and for Bethel, it is important to note that she indeed looks at healing as a process.
In her signature use of the crown shaft of the royal palm tree invites us into the moment of healing when expectation and hopeful supplication meet. In her unique way, Bethel has coaxed the images of two women who are actively engaged in seeking answers to their pain. In fact, the mixed-media piece, “Steps” reveals the five steps she feels are essential to making the progression to healing: believe, forgive, hope, release, and surrender.
The Beneath the Hat project has allowed me to meet and interview 18 women who have discovered and claimed something they love to do, whatever their path, as part of the many hats they wear in life.
Maurisa Glinton explains it quite well: “Life is too short to get stuck on the hamster wheel of sleep, work, pay bills, repeat... I refused to be in a job that sucked the life out of me when I knew that there was something that I loved, that gave me life. Some people live their entire lives without figuring out what they are truly passionate about. I knew what made me happy ... so I went for it.”
Sometimes their passion is their profession, sometimes it is family or their choice to work inside the home, and sometimes it is simpy a compelling need to create or help or share their gifts—each woman, each story, underscores the universal drive to have a purpose in life, to rejoice in the many ways we fall in love with life.
This art installation celebrates these women as part of celebrating all women. The train of the dress weaves through the various women’s hats—their distinctive qualities and gifts uplifting us all in the wake of embracing their unique selves. There is no one voice in the work. It is a collective of voices rich with the grandeur and magnificence of our diverse callings, histories, beliefs, talents, passions, and purposes.
— Chantal E.Y. Bethel
Installation material used: mannequin, canvas, cloth, 250 mini hats, hats belonging to the interviewees (including Muslim hijab and Chef bandana), spray paint, acrylic paint.
January 12, 2010 is forever etched in my memory… Out of the need to pray for Haiti to recover from the destruction caused by the earthquake, I created a sacred space, a place where Heaven meets earth – a healing place.
The prayer box is the interactive part of the installation. Viewers are invited to write a short prayer and deposit it in the prayer box. On the top cover of the box a repetition of the first line of The Lord's Prayer is written in Latin, French, Creole and English.
This installation was exhibited on January 12,2012 at the D'Aguilar Art Foundation in Nassau, to commemorate the anniversary of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.
Agonistes, an interactive installation, portrayed the emotional aftermath of surviving the physical destruction of the island of Grand Bahama by hurricanes in 2004 and 2005. The evocative use of shingles, weathered wood, and suspended ghostly figures serve as a reminder of how displaced people were after the storms, as well as the symbols of faith in which strength in Unity is found.
This installation was exhibited at the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas during the National Exhibition of 2005