Kendal Featured In Bahamian History Book
Bahamian History Highlights An excerpt from “Pictorial History and Memories of Nassau’s Over-The-Hill” by Rosemary C. Hanna
Kendal (Sir K) is an abstract artist. He began his career at the Chelsea Pottery in the late fifties, working with ceramics. His teacher was Eve Gossett. The Director of Chelsea Pottery, David Rawnsley, was a British film maker, and his business partner was Joyce Morgan, who was also an instructor. The Pottery was located on East Hill Street, opposite Parliament Street where the General Post Office is now located.
The two storey house was nestled in a lush garden. There was a large silk cotton tree in the garden and also a well that visitors threw coins into and used as a wishing well. The first time I heard about the mystical birdlike chick charnies of the Andros forest, was when Kendal told us about making and painting the little figures.
On a few occasions he took his younger sibling and me to visit the Pottery. He reminded me that they used to hang the chick charnies on tree branches throughout the garden. Other artists who were at the Chelsea Pottery with Kendal included the late Brent Malone, Max Taylor, George Huyler, Carl Rahming and Crofton Peddie, the only one from that group to continue into a successful career in ceramics in England.
After the Pottery closed in the sixties, Kendal also spent a short time in New York. He did his painting under a large silk cotton tree at the back of his yard. His were the first abstract paintings that I ever saw and, at the time, I did not understand his style of painting but was fascinated by the vibrant colours he used. When we played school as children and, as the big boy, Kendal was always the teacher.
His first mentor who encouraged Kendal and talked to him about his desire to express himself through abstract art was the renowned American artist and exterior mural painter, the late John St. John, who Kendal met when the former visited The Bahamas in the late fifties. Kendal also visited St. John at his home in Florida.
Since the opening of the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas (NAGB), Kendal has mounted several exhibits there. In 2012 he exhibited at the NAGB, in celebration of his seventy-fifth birthday. The exhibition included 143 pieces from private collections and from his personal collection.
In October 2011, he was among the group of Master Artists of The Bahamas who travelled to Waterloo, Iowa, USA, where they mounted an exhibit at the Waterloo Center for the Arts, which will ran through 31st January 2012. Plans are to take the exhibit to other cities across the United States in 2012. It includes works of Master Artists: John Beadle, Jackson L. Burnside (deceased), Stan Burnside, John Cox, Amos Ferguson (deceased), Kendal Hanna, Brent Malone (deceased), Eddie Minnis, Antonius Roberts, Dave Smith and Max Taylor. Kendal is the artist in residence at PopopStudios.
He is pictured above with a recently completed piece. Unfortunately, most of his early works were lost when the Hanna house was destroyed by fire twenty years ago. Kendal is also now creating sculptures.
Kendal Hanna – Photograph by Rosemary C. Hanna