Parris Hill Mural
Parrish Hill, St. Joseph
St. Joseph is one such parish that offers this unique rustic feel. However, this parish holds an additional surprise for those that traverse the winding roads to the community of Parris Hill. Just a few moments away from the Indian Pond Plantation, in the corner of an intersection, carved in the face of the natural limestone rock walls that meet the road, travellers are greeted by vivid images of wild jungle animals and faces characterised by bold facial expressions.
This mural is the work of Chris Chandler, Barbadian born artist and creative genius, known as a ‘Recycle Artist’. His artwork is fully embodied by the popular saying 'one man’s trash is another man’s treasure', as he takes any objects considered waste, junk and rubbish by the wider public, and uses them as an opportunity to not only take transform them into art but to address the world environmental crisis of excessive waste in our landfills, ocean beds and ecosystems - breathing new life into everyday items.
Upon commencement of the mural, he had only just delved into rock sculpting - a form of art where rocks are carefully carved using various tools to produce an image. Each piece took approximately one year to complete and was formed using special tools, painted with a glaze, and then decorated with an explosion of vividly eye-catching colours.
The mural is made up of several art pieces, amalgamated to make one large, cohesive and complete piece. And the hard work done by Mr Chandler and his team (inclusive of the members of the neighbouring community) is undoubtedly a sight to behold.
Confrontation II - The Lion and the Mouse
The first formation, ‘Confrontation II - The Lion and the Mouse’ is inspired by the story from the popular book series ‘Aesop’s Fables’ of the same name. Mr Chandler wanted to introduce an educational element to the mural, catering to the children who visit, by incorporating a story with a moral about friendship. Standing at 36 by 12 feet, this detailed piece depicts a lion intricately carved into the rock, including a pair of bright eyes, wide nostrils, and sharp teeth using bright yellow to paint the various areas of the formation and highlight the animal. The mouse is accurately represented in his size as he perches next to his sidekick, the lion.
The Other Side
Next to 'The Lion and the Mouse’ is 'The Other Side', which showcases human-like faces, who (as described by Mr Chandler) are surprised by the lion, who wakes them up from their slumber.
Cricket in the Jungle
The largest and the most exciting piece was inspired by the Caribbean song 'Cricket in the Jungle' by The Tradewinds which personifies animals playing an action-packed game of cricket. Included in the game are a kangaroo, snake, parrot and red ants, and the stars of the show - the crappo (Caribbean word for frog), the donkey as the batsman and the elephant who bowls the ball. The piece accurately transforms the song's lyrics into a visual representation, allowing the song to come alive with colours, shapes and textures.
There are many other sculptures found at Parris Hill, both large and small. These eye-catching sculptures all have different stories and sources of information, different styles and different characters, however, they all come together to make one cohesive piece that brightens and enhances the beauty of the east.