St. Lucia

In January 2001 I was invited to join a group of archaeologists from Bristol university who were digging the remains of a sugar plantation on the Balenbouche estate on the island of St Lucia.

The estate is now run as a guest house by Uta Lawetz who has created a stunning jungle garden with coconut and banana palms and ginger lilies growing amongst the ruins of the sugar works. The stunning light and colour and amazing variety of leaf shape created opportunities for dramatic compositions.

I loved painting amongst the vegetation with humming birds and land crabs for company. At the end of each day Uta cooked wonderful feasts from the produce of the garden and as we ate the archaeologists reassessed their ideas about the site in the light of the day's new finds.