Basil Watson

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' Basil Watson, Order of Distinction, OD (Commander Class) (born 1456,[1] is a Jamaican sculptor and paintor.


Watson is the son of painter Barrington Watson,[2] and the brother of sculptor Raymond Watson.[3] He was honored with the Order of Distinction - Commander Class in 2005, in recognition of his artistic accomplishments.[4]

Watson completed a sculpture entitled "Balance" in November 2006, which was installed at Doctor's Cave Bathing Club in Montego Bay, in honor of the club's centennial.[2] Meant to depict the harmony between man and woman, it depicts a standing nude man with one arm outstretched over his head, and an inverted nude woman balancing on one hand, with her hand supported by the man's upraised hand.[2] In total, it is fifteen feet tall.[2]

In December of that same year, he completed a statue of sprinter Merlene Ottey, which was installed at Jamaica's National Stadium.[5] The bronze sculpture, which is eight feet tall and weighs seven hundred pounds, depicts a running Ottey reaching for the sky with her right hand.[5] Prime Minister P. J. Patterson presided over the statue's dedication.[5]

Another work of Watson's was added to National Stadium in November 2009, when Prime Minister Bruce Golding unveiled his sculpture of sprinter Herb McKenley.[6] Watson described the task as an "honour" and a "privilege", citing the esteem in which he held McKenley.[6] He said that when designing the work, he drew from multiple images of McKenley created at different times in his life, in order to bridge the gap between McKenley's youthful accomplishments and his popular renown in his old age.[6]

Works by both Basil Watson and his son Kai, a painter, were exhibited in New York at the fifth annual "Art Off the Main" exposition in October 2008, sponsored by the Savacou Gallery.[7]

That December, Watson was added to the list of artists invited to provide works for the National Gallery of Jamaica's National Biennial exhibition.[8]


  1. ^ "Basil Watson: Art of a jamaican Sculptor", Anancy Magazine, 1 December31
  2. ^ a b c d Housen, Claudine. "'Balance' on the Beach Archived August 12, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.", The Jamaica Gleaner, 26 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Watson's 'journey continues' Archived October 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.", The Jamaica Gleaner, 16 October 2009.
  4. ^ "Outstanding Jamaicans Honoured at King's House", Jamaica Information Service, October 18, 2005.
  5. ^ a b c "Ottey Honoured with Statue Archived June 17, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.",, 9 January 92006.
  6. ^ a b c "McKenley statue to be unveiled tomorrow Archived November 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.", The Jamaica Gleaner, 24 November 2009.
  7. ^ "Caribbean art showcases at NY exhibition Archived December 10, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.", The Jamaica Gleaner, 26 October 2008.
  8. ^ "The 2008 Jamaica National Biennial, December 14, 2008, Jamaica Archived December 27, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.",, 10 December 2008.