There are some places that feel like home from the moment you enter. That’s what happened when we walked into the Mt. Plenty home of Laura Facey, a Jamaican-born artist and sculptor whose career has spanned 40 years. Her art is controversial, thought-provoking and honest. And her home is a reflection of that: It’s filled with some of her most famous pieces, along with watercolor paintings by her grandchildren.
Her sprawling property has been in the family for many generations. It has become a sanctuary for Facey, a respite from the bustling art scene in Kingston and around the world. Now Facey has opened her home to Island Outpost guests to explore her many works and enjoy an intimate conversation over a glass of iced tea.
Facey walked us around her home, pointing out each piece and giving it context both personal and technical. (Facey honed her considerable skills at the Jamaica School of Art and the Rhode Island School of Design.) A highlight is a small-scale reproduction of perhaps her most controversial piece: Redemption Song, a sculpture of a naked man and woman that stood in New Kingston’s famous Emancipation Park. Facey knew the piece would stir controversy because of its nudity among the conservative Jamaican community, but she has long believed that “nudity and art go hand-in-hand,” as she says.
Another bold and awe-inspiring piece is Body and Blood of Christ, a ten-foot styrofoam faux gold-leafed sculpture of a nude male torso that represents the body of Christ. There’s a deep gash along the side, to replicate the piercing of Jesus’s side on the day of his crucifixion, and a fan of red roses lays just beyond the pierced body.
Facey’s passion and artistry is evident from the moment she welcomes you into her incredible home, when she leads you past her display of art and onto her back porch, where the conversation begins.