When art inspires dreams . . .

Jallim Eudovic poses with one of his spectacular sculptures.

Jallim is 30, inspired, articulate, sincere.  He trained as a sculptor under his father, the venerable Joseph Eudovic, now in his 60s and still directing daily goings-on at Eudovic’s Studio on the Morne, easily one of St Lucia’s most successfully sustainable galleries.
Jallim to his credit, and no doubt his father’s pride and joy, has mounted no less than three major international installations in of all places, China.  The first executed in 2008 is entitled Nurture and stands proudly in the Changchun World Sculpture Park which at 223 hectares is the largest in China and indeed the world.  Such was the impact of his first piece, that Jallim was selected later that same year to create The Beckoning unveiled at the Changchun Urban Sculpture Museum.
As fate would have it, the municipality of Changchun first discovered the work of Eudovic the Father on line and solicited a proposal for the 2008 Event.  By mutual assent, it was Eudovic the Son who responded submitting three designs for consideration.  Of these, the piece entitled Nuture was selected, and so began his eventful affair with the land of Mao to which he has thrice travelled and spent more than six months collectively creating his acclaimed works.  In 2010 Jallim was among a select group of international sculptors commissioned to produce not one but two pieces.  His sculptures entitled Play Car and Steering now grace the heart of the automotive district of Changchun, the centre of the Chinese auto industry.
This latter commission coincided with an international symposium staged by the city the focus of which was the impact of the vehicle on human life and contemporary society.  Clearly they were impressed.  Today four major works by this young St Lucian sculptor stand proudly beside the best the world might offer, with a fifth piece in the making.
Another commission followed in 2011, this time for the high-tech Sculpture Symposium under the theme Innovation Leap Dream.  Of the three options sent in, the one which caught the selector’s eye was strategically entitled “Leap”.
Originally rendered in wood, the piece started life as part of his KOUDMEN series now housed at the St Lucia High Commission in the UK and at the Stephen Lawrence Centre in Deptford, London.  Stephen Lawrence is the son of Doreen Lawrence, the foremost human rights activist in the UK whose son (18) was killed in a hate crime in 1994.
Her outrage, activism and quest for justice provoked legislative change under the Tony Blair administration and the centre she established in her son’s name now provides architectural bursaries to help talented inner city youth express their creative energies. Working for the greater good has become a resonant theme with Jallim particularly at this time when a global recession demands a revisiting of values and the pooling of resources for survival.  And so, echoing the theme of joining hands he looked within and drew from the indigenous KOUDMEN motif.
With names like Ish Mwen, Sou Sou and Téwé, the KOUDMEN pieces are simultaneously introspective and provocative, achieving a universality that transcends their essential St. Lucianess.  They are powerfully conceived yet edited to a purity of line and form which imbues them with an undeniable architectural energy.
Jallim’s KOUDMEN series also derives from his artistic philosophy: the conviction that a latent cultural legacy lies embedded in the St Lucian experience waiting to be expressed.  It is not surprising then, that his work reflects both strength and simplicity, confirming a depth of perception that demands critical attention.
Even outside the context of the wider series, Leap is a highly emotive piece with its single archetypal figure moving confidently through a portal of time and tradition.  The portal, skewed along its major axes, becomes highly dimensional as it frames its subject poised in a delicate dance-like balance.
It is an apt theme for high-tech host country China which is transitioning rapidly, building a new socio-economic and political reality anchored by traditional roots.  The piece also echoes Jallim’s sensitivity regarding personal and societal responsibility: the universal figure supports the frame through which he/she must pass, while the upturned face acknowledges that our talents and circumstances are not entirely of our own making. With this powerful statement soon to be rendered permanently in bronze, Jallim justly claims a place in the company of other St Lucian artists who have done his country proud.  Looking ahead to the next creative project Jallim is confident. Prospects are looming in London with opportunities that could widen the art and culture portal for himself and other St Lucian artists.
Pointing to the Sir Arthur Lewis model of development which seems to be serving other populations so well, he feels deeply that this society must liberate its own tremendous creative energies.  He wants to be part of that revolution and hopes that the powers that are—and will be—understand the opportunities which open for the whole country when artists explore their dreams.

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