RESIDE: P. WALDEMAR’S ARTIST RETREAT
The concept of house as sanctuary is one of the great clichés of shelter-magazine writing—and for good reason, as anyone who finds comfort in their home can attest. But for visual artist Patrick Waldemar, the idea registers on a whole different level. As a creative, energy, balance and space for lyming is very important. Jamaican Artists seem to hold much artistic fervour for Hillside living. From Victoria Silvera to Gene Pearson, the Western hills of Kingston is saturated with talent and inspiration to share.
From a slew of one man and group shows alike and inclusions in private collections across the world, Waldemar moves parallel to an immense amount of attention. But between Stillwell and Villa Ronai, Patrick has found his peace. “For one it's relaxingly cool and calming in Stony Hill, I guess you could call it 'visual green juice' - Tropical, mountains and mist... what's not to love!” he says of his lush hillside habitat.
Given His reputation as a creator of art and a savvy collector of fine things, one could be forgiven for assuming that the three battery operated mini lanterns (from Amazon) -that sits atop his mobile kitchen island- are really an ode to the old timey Jamaica he knew as a child. It is indeed a mistake to assume anything about this spirited savant. While the home may present certain earmarks of travelled fabulousity (a swank Kingston 8 address + breathtaking hillside views), in both scale and design this contemporary dwelling was designed with one overriding goal in mind: “to impart for guests a sense of comfort” says Waldemar who acquired the space about twelve years ago.
But running in circles so illustrious in their own rights, how exactly does one accomplish such sensual comfort? “Just 'leggo' formality at the door” he said. And if you ask his house guests who are oft times art collectors, public figures and members of his creative tribe, they’ll tell you a similar story. When asked about the common comments echoed from first timers, Patrick had this to say; “Well from memory I’ve heard "aha! I knew you were an artist", "this is so you", " I would love to live here" and " wow this looks like a magazine!". Lol, that one makes me want to turn the page.”
But to move the conversation further inside having successfully let go of formality and my shoes by the door, the guest bedroom beckoned first. Set on the other side of a large bayish window, his guest bedroom teases views from the hillside deck and beyond. Around the room you’ll slowly feel yourself revisiting your favorite tech moments between 1998 and 2003, thanks to a 21st century classic collection of CDs and an iMAC G5 desktop that’s still sort of operational.
Photography By Alexander Wong and Jon South
“Technology is very important to me, I've always been a techie. If I had not been an artist I think I would have gone into electronics. I just find it all fascinatingly creative. Plus trust me, I'm going where the world and 'today' takes me… I’m not afraid of change” says Waldemar. Though it’s not the most visual element of the space, technology is riddled between the walls, halls and roof of the apartment. With surround sound courtesy of several SONOS speakers, industrial style bedside lights for late-night reading and the ceramic solar lanterns on the deck - tech definitely plays its part in Patrick’s 30% style 70% function design fiat.
As you make your way down a shadowy hall and into the master (bedroom) you’ll be brought into the future with all of 3 apple tv remotes lying loosely around. Not to be outdone by a tray with apple's largest ipad, an apple watch and an iphone 7. When asked where he spends most of his time he musingly responded “the bedroom... lol”. If not there, you will perhaps find Patrick on his deck cooling out with total freedom under the open tropical sky. “Good friends, fun food and music around the granite table” is how and with whom he spends most of his time in Stony Hill. As compared to his other properties in New Orleans and Miami, the feeling of being in the countryside whilst lounging three minutes away from ‘civilisation’ is the highlight of his Kingston 8 address.
The art and accessories -many of them linked to Waldemar’s friends and family- are similarly eclectic and freeing, ranging from an African ceremonial dance mask to a Lion Table purchased from the Gallery of West Indian Art in Montego Bay. A particular favorite is the three piece original P.W. canvas that lays horizontally above a leather couch - the living area’s best seat for wine and lounging. The couch by the way made its trip across the Atlantic from a shop in Canary Wharf London. Curled beneath the piece is an oriental style carpet purchased in Miami. It plays foundation fiddle to a contemporary coffee table with wheels. To “take bad sinting make joke”, the collection of crystal ash trays that sits atop the coffee table all has a chip or two thanks to the resident help. A fact Patrick finds much humour in, all things considered.
Add to this the slab of polished granite with a broken corner where used to lay a resin patch that he so artfully did away with, and the result is Waldemar’s signature blend of the new and the otherwise ‘improved’. This slab anchors the apartment’s premier entertaining space and one of Waldemar's favorite places, the deck. With about a two foot overhang, glass inset railing, lush tropical trees, and a conversation circle created by light colored deck chairs rounds of the scene to many late nights and early mornings. Above and toward the building and to the far left are glimpses of apartments owned by neighbours who are friends. But directly in front of you is a plunging hillside that raises outwardly to peak just where the mist rises and the sun sets. The innermost section of the outdoor living space is where Patrick paints. While visiting with him the clouds opened up and released some sweet Sunday morning rain, an opportunity he took to create his last watercolor creation in real life & time.
DESIGN ADVICE TO NEW HOMEOWNERS
“Look inward for design inspiration, suit yourself. Work with your favorite colours, textures, styles and trust yourself! It will come together if it's what you like, love and want. Never copy slavishly - take the concept underlying what you see and bend it to your way.” - Patrick Waldemar