Some of the world’s greatest talents go unrecognised by the vast majority of society. Talent comes in many forms and from many places; people born in big cities are as likely to possess natural-born talent as those born on the smallest islands in the remotest corners of the globe.
Jallim Eudovic might not be a household name, yet, in places like New York, London, Paris or Berlin, but that doesn’t mean his talent isn’t worthy of the spotlight. A humble artist from the Caribbean island of St Lucia, Jallim’s gifts were nurtured from a young age by a family that is steeped in art. Now his works are gaining attention beyond his home island.
Son of a Sculptor
Jallim was born on the island of St Lucia on December 6, 1980. Long before he ever picked up a block of wood and sculpting tools, the craft and creative vision for the art flowed through his veins. Jallim’s father, Vincent Joseph Eudovic, is a famous sculptor from St Lucia who has been working with wood and teaching younger sculptors for more than 50 years. With his father’s guidance and motivation, young Jallim’s talent was nurtured from the age of five; he showed the physical talent and the creative vision to craft an abstract piece that he still possesses today.
It was clear even then that he had his father’s gift. Joseph took up the craft more formally at the age of 11, using carpentry tools and his grandmother’s utensils as chisels. Jallim describes his father’s first artwork, which won first prize in an exhibition:
“His first sculpture was called ‘Ali Baba’, because the story of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves intrigued him a lot because it was about a quest for fortune. Being a poor Caribbean boy with minimal resources, that was very fascinating to him, so he portrayed that.”
Jallim stepped out as an artist in his own right following the completion of secondary school. At the age of 17, he felt that his craft was the only career he wanted. Opting not to attend an international art school, Jallim instead went straight to work in his father’s art studio in St Lucia. He worked for his father full time, with his works garnering attention on the island. His first international exposure came at the Francophone Games in Canada.
The Sculpting Process
Jallim followed in his father’s footsteps in more ways than one. Though he works with a variety of woods, including red cedar and white cedar, he prefers to work primarily with mahogany wood from the island of St Lucia. He notes that the island has two species of mahogany:
“We have two kinds of mahogany. We have the Honduras mahogany and we have the local, indigenous mahogany. The indigenous one is very hard; it’s a very beautiful green.”
Although Jallim is following in his father’s footsteps as a sculptor, he is an artist with a unique style and his sources of inspiration differ from those of his father. Wherever he finds himself, he finds inspiration from everything around him. The environment, the people, his spirituality and the events of the day all contribute to his conceptualisation process. For example, during his conversation with Kreol magazine, he described how London was providing him with inspiration at the moment:
“To me London has energy, it is energetic. When I look at people, I see a sombre attitude in London, and I don’t know if it’s pretentious or just people trying to get along and trying to get to their destination. Commuting seems to be a prime event for a Londoner’s day, a lot of time and effort is put into that – by train, bus and so on. And when you juxtapose that to my country…”
As for the actual sculpting process, Jallim admits that every project starts with a concept. He spends a lot of his time gathering his thoughts and conceptualising an idea that conveys a message both to his society in St Lucia and to the people of the world. His messages are often about unity, love and striving for commonality across boundaries.
Greatest Works in St Lucia
Jallim’s talent was nurtured in St Lucia and he came of age as an artist in his father’s studio, so it only makes sense that some of his greatest works stand on display in his homeland. Currently, he is working on a project with the St Lucian Sculpture Park, collaborating on concepts with Mr Llewellyn Xavier, the founder and president of the park.
Greatest Works on a Global Scale
The highlight of Jallim’s career came when he was commissioned by the government of China to produce a bronze sculpture for the Changchun World Sculpture Park. Considered the world’s largest sculpture park, Changchun was opened in 2003 and holds some 350 sculptures on display over 150 acres of land.
For the project, he created a sculpture called “Mummy, I Want Ice Cream”. Jallim’s work has struck a chord with the Chinese people, earning him two further commissions to contribute works to other Chinese sculpture gardens and art parks.
Continuing Work at Home
Jallim’s home studio is located in the Pulands district of Castries, the capital of St Lucia. To this day, he remains connected to the people and places that provided his first taste of artistic inspiration. He grew up in a family that sculpted, painted and partook in local creole folklore. His father, though not as active as a sculptor anymore, is concerned with the business side of operations at Eudovic Art Studio.
Talent can come from any corner of the globe. Jallim’s love of art goes beyond the need to support himself and his new family. He is less concerned with money and accolades, and more focused on inspiring others and showing them how valuable life is through his artworks.