The Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery is a small establishment nestled amongst the trees in the tropical rainforest of Antigua. The Fig Tree Drive is a winding paved road which cuts through the dense green vegetation of the rainforest, and the studio is situated a short distance off the main road. Swaying palm fronds and towering trees result in an all natural backdrop which is an art form all in itself.
The owner of The Fig Tree Studio Art Gallery is Sallie Harker, a well known artist who was born in England but has chosen to make Antigua and Barbuda her home. Many of her oil and water colour pieces are on display at the gallery, as well as artwork belonging to several other painters and craftsmen throughout the Caribbean.
Various creative paintings dominate the walls of the gallery, many featuring old fashioned Caribbean sea vessels such as Carib canoes, French yoles and Grenadian sloops. Most of these boats are battling stormy seas and heavy winds and you can easily imagine being onboard as the early explorers searched for foreign lands.
The paintings vary significantly not simply by the colour schemes used, but by the very materials on which they were created. Apart from the more conventional materials such as canvas, Sallie makes use of wooden shingles as the foundation for a very unique series of paintings known as 'Cruising the Caribbean'. The shingles are made from hardwood trees and the resulting artwork of captivating colours remarkable composition is a pleasure to behold. Paintings such as these can be bought for USD $300 and upwards.
Aside from her seacraft artwork, Sallie also has a penchant for animal sculptures, and many beautifully carved birds, fish and turtles can be found at the studio. High quality woods such as Teak and Mohagany as utlized to ensure that the end result is not only aesthetic, but durable. Other sculptures are created from driftwood and bamboo, for those interested in a more Creole oriented
Smaller sculptures such as bob-a-head turtles made from coconut shells are available for purchase if a simple souvenir is all you're looking for. Colourful hand woven baskets, and jewelry boxes are available for purchase, and provides an alternative to the usual plastic keyrings that visitors rely on to remember their vacation.
The journey to the art gallery is beautiful, and the art on display is fascinating. This combination can only mean that a visit will be worthwhile, whether it's simply to have a look around, or to take home a piece of the Caribbean with you.