Blog Post

Miss Lassie's Mind's Eye

Miss Lassie’s House / Mind’s Eye is one of the Cayman Islands’ most historic cultural structures and the most unique of all traditional Caymanian homes. Built by Miss Lassie’s father with community assistance, construction began in 1879 and was completed in 1881. The original construction comprising ironwood framing and wattle and daub walls remains intact except for the thatch on the roof, which was replaced first with shingles and, in 1947, corrugated zinc sheets.

Over the 126 years of occupancy by the Bush family, Mind’s Eye has seen little major repairs or additions except for a wooden extension to the back of house, constructed in1947. It is on the walls of this wooden extension that most of Miss Lassie’s murals are painted.

The Cayman National Cultural Foundation and its team of experts and volunteers have worked assiduously to conserve the house, effecting restorations (in keeping with internationally recognized conservation techniques) only where absolutely necessary.

Mind’s Eye has survived many minor earthquakes and storms, including a category 5 hurricane in 2004, with little or no damage. This is a testament to the strength and durability of traditional materials and the knowledge and skills of Caymanian craftsmen.

When the property is opened to the public, Caymanians, visitors and the world at large, will have access to the ideals of one small woman in one small country who found her gift of vision in the later years of her life and, with faith, prayer and unceasing work, created a world of images that speaks with the voice of unconditional love.

A fourth-generation Caymanian, Gladwyn "Miss Lassie" Bush began painting at the age of 62, after what she described as a visionary experience of Christ. As a result, strong biblical themes run through her work, which she painted on the walls, windows and furnishings of her home, as well as on Canvas and glass.

Mrs. Bush was made a Member of the British Empire (MBE) in 1997 during the Queen’s Birthday celebrations in Grand Cayman on June 15, 1998. She was also a recipient of the Cayman National Cultural Foundation's Heritage Award. Both awards recognized her contributions to creativity, culture and art in the Cayman Islands.

Her work is documented in the CNCF publication, My Markings... the Art of Gladwyn K. Bush. She has had a number of solo exhibitions in her homeland and is one of the artists profiled in books on intuitive art worldwide, Raw Creation, (Phaidon Press), Caribbean Art (Thames and Hudson) and Fantasy Worlds (Benedikt Taschen Verlag).

Miss Lassie’s paintings are in private collections in England, the United States, Jamaica, South Africa, Germany and the Cayman Islands, and in the collection of the American Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore, Maryland.

Miss Lassie passed away on Monday, November 24, 2003 at the age of 89.