Once upon a time, on the North Coast of Jamaica, was a pretty gingerbread house, called ‘Harmony Hall’. One of my favourite things to do on a rare day off, as a lowly dive instructor, was to go to the art exhibition openings at the Gallery at Harmony Hall. After admiring the inspiring collections of original art, the treat at the end was to browse through the gift shop and, in particular, the Annabella Boxes. Named after Annabella Ogden, the gallery-owner, and hand-crafted from Jamaican cedar, they have a gorgeous woody scent that naturally repels insects . The select range of art images included names like Graham Davies, Rita Genet, Colin Garland, Sameer Tansley, the Jamaican Intuitives, plus a range of classic maps and prints of 19th century landscapes. Inside the boxes were short artist bios and a cute introduction starting with ‘I am an Annabella Box…’. I used to spend ages looking at them and reading the insides before choosing the next edition to my collection.
Although the Gallery no longer exists, Annabella’s name lives on, since her son decided to reintroduce the range of boxes. I am excited to announce that five of my paintings will be reproduced on Annabella boxes as part of the new range, and I’ve been eagerly anticipating seeing the completed items.
The wait is now over… I’m thrilled to hold in my hand some samples of the new designs in the Annabella Box range and I couldn’t be more pleased with how they look and feel.
This is not only because these iconic little cedar-wood trinket boxes are dear to my heart (I still have some that I bought in the 1980’s) and it is a huge honour to think that I have some of my images amongst the forerunners in this illustrious collection, but also because some of these images will be directly raising funds for two great causes. The fish images will help wildlife and the environment, through the White River Fish Sanctuary, and my cat image will raise funds for the Montego Bay Animal Haven.
Annabella Boxes are available in quality gift shops across the island.