MONTEGO BAY, St James – From humble beginnings in the rural community of Somerton, St James, Hilory Bulgin has evolved into a go-to artist for corporate entities looking to add statement pieces to their décor.
Over the years, Bulgin, whose talent has been nurtured at the Montego Bay-based Cornwall College by his art teacher Clyde Clarke, has seen the recognition and love for his artworks garnering positive reviews and commendation from his peers and art enthusiasts.
Bulgin told the Jamaica Observer West that he was born with a love for the arts and has been drawing from childhood days while attending Somerton Infant and All-Age School.
“I started drawing when I was very young, and painting at age 12. This was when I entered Cornwall College and was under the tutelage of art teacher Clyde Clarke. He was a source of not only motivation and guidance, but he truly inspired me. With that, I gained confidence and knew it was possible to pursue my dream. I studied art up to CXC level and followed by private studies while pursuing an engineering degree at the University of Technology (UTECH),” Bulgin explained.
He later wrestled with the idea of pursuing further studies in art at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts, but decided against it.
Bulgin described his style as a fusion, drawing the viewers to develop their own interpretations at times.
“My art is a fusion of aboriginal, contemporary and pointillism,” he stressed.
“I’m drawn to aboriginal art because it was developed as a way to tell stories by the Australian aboriginal people, they had no written language, so in order to convey history and preserve sacred stories, it was placed on artwork. Pointillism is distinct and intricate. Renowned artist Vincent Van Gogh, also went through period using this technique. Fused with contemporary approaches, I have been able to have a distinguishing feature about my work. I think that has also helped with persons being interested in my work as well.
“The best reward for me, though, is that through my art I have been able to give back and donate to charitable causes,” Bulgin said.
“My art is for love, and what it affords me is an avenue to help others. That is the greatest achievement or feeling that I can ask for.”
He told the Observer West that eventually, he wants to set up a foundation that will help at-risk and underprivileged children.
“I have been blessed with someone that saw my talent and provided guidance, and if we can do that for a child, then that could be the best gift for them,” Bulgin argued.
He stressed that his foundation would also nurture and guide aspiring artists.
“The most challenging aspect of being an upcoming artist is getting your work exposed to the public and, by extension sales. When I’m through that door, I’m looking back to keep it open for others to follow, and help in bringing more artists to the fore. I wanted to study art at the tertiary level, but I had to choose otherwise, so I’m looking forward to when I can make that dream come true for others,” Bulgin expressed.
A lover of all things artistic, Bulgin also has interest in interior designing and landscaping, and juggles life as an electrical engineer and family man.
“I balance my work life with my artistic life by practicing good time management and any spare time I have, I use it to do my artworks. I love nature, I take trips with my family around the island visiting historic sites,” he said.
“Observing and interacting with people from the different parishes is something that all Jamaicans should indulge in. It gives a different level of appreciation for our island and our people.”
Bulgin said he is currently working on an upcoming exhibition for a resort in Montego Bay, but with the onset of COVID-19, that has put uncertainty on the date.
“I’m really looking forward to when this pandemic has passed. But we just have to remain positive and just continue to do our best under the circumstances,” he argued.
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