Miss Lassie’s home becomes new cultural site

| 10/04/2011

(CNS): Following the purchase of Miss Lassie’s house and land by the previous administration in 2008, the Cayman National Cultural Foundation has been renovating and fund raising to preserve the site and turn it into a museum and gallery. Now almost complete, the ‘Mind’s Eye’ cultural heritage site will open on 29 April. The late Gladwyn K Bush, or ‘Miss Lassie’ as she was known, was a prolific intuitive artist who began painting in her 60s from visions in or from her mind’s eye, not just on canvas but on the walls, doors and shutters of her cottage in South Sound. Celebrated as one of the most important visionary artists in the region, preserving Miss Lassie’s work and home is of particular cultural importance to the Cayman Islands.

Miss Lassie passed away on 24 November 2003, having not only painted every available surface inside and outside her home but some 200 canvases as well. Inspired by the voices, her paintings were an emotionally raw expression lacking a formal perspective. The Cayman Cultural Foundation (CNCF) holds around 122 pieces of Miss Lassie’s work, while some are in private hands, including in galleries across Europe and the US.

It was more than six years ago that the CNCF Artistic Director Henry Muttoo, who knew Miss Lassie, began campaigning to preserve the 48 South Sound Road property. The dream became a reality when the PPM government invested $1 million in the project to buy the house and the surrounding land.

The preservation project has involved the National Gallery, the National Museum and the Ministry of Culture. The team also had to raise a further $1million over government investment to cover the costs of the refurbishment and preservation work.

With the ‘soft opening’ only weeks away, staff, students and parents of George Town Primary School helped clear the site this weekend and tickets are now on sale for the event, which takes place on a public holiday.

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  1. petermilburn says:

    Truly an amazing lady.I remember her well and am so happy that her house has been kept for all Caymanians to see and enjoy.for generations to come.I know she is smiling and keeping an eye out on us all.Thanks for the memories Miss Lassie.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I used to ride my bike down South Sound everyday after school and wave to miss lassy. She sometimes even used to invite me into her house to look at her artwork, and always offered water and a mango to "fuelme on my travels" as she would say….sweetest woman, miss her lots but her house will carry her memory along. =]


  3. MR says:

    Something about that lady, Miss Lassie. When I was I believe 9 or 10, I never met the woman, yet had a dream of driving down Walkers Road to this lady’s house. Seeing an old lady at the door entrance of her house, she touched me and was speaking words undisclosed to me about some future event. It was a weird dream. Then my mother had this religious friend and I shared the dreamed with her, and right away she said, that must have been Miss Lassie’s house. She described the home at the end of Walker’s Road that was painted and in a sandy yard, and sure enough it fit what I dreamt of the place. From that time on, now in my 30’s, I can tell you that that lady was not an ordinary lady. I am not a believer of any superstition or faith, I can only tell you what I dreamt not knowing anything about the lady.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Commendations and congratulations to CNCF particularly Mr. Muttoo and his dedicated staff in its efforts to preserve this site. The successive Governments are also to be commended for facilitating the project to this point. Hopefully the plans for the site will foster consistent public support so as to make this a successful attraction and an investment for posterity.