Nestled comfortably in the Goodlands, a Castries village on the island of St. Lucia, sculptor and designer Jallim Eudovic is busy making art in his family’s studio. While his name isn’t yet being dropped around the North American art fair circuit, Eudovic is pursued by English royalty for jewelry design, and was previously commissioned for his sculptures as wedding gifts for Prince William and Kate. Recently, he was selected to exhibit his highly praised sculptural work, the Koudmen Collection, in New York City as a part of the St. Lucia Independence Day celebration.
Eudovic’s expertly executed wooden sculptures embody themes of uplift, perseverance, community and economic sustainability—cycles of life that place humanity and love at their core. His international acclaim continues to grow, and he’s been reinvited to China to work as one of 50 artists selected for a major public art commission in Fuhzou.
His father, artist and studio owner Vincent Eudovic, trained the younger Eudovic in the highly respected V. J. Eudovic Art Studio. The elder Eudovic studied contemporary and traditional African art and trained many other artists in the community as well. Eudovic stated that a crucial component of his artistic development and practice was just being around “a myriad of artists and apprentices… a melting pot of philosophies, genres and styles.”
Central to Jallim Eudovic’s work are his passions for community and collective strength, evident is all of his work. But these elements are best expressed through his large-scale public art projects. He firmly believes he should be doing whatever he can as an artist to uplift community both at home and abroad.
As a result, his art was brought to the attention of Baroness Doreen Lawrence—activist and founder of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust for excellence in education and architecture. The two met in St. Lucia; she personally invited him to exhibit at her prestigious Stephen Lawrence Center (named for her son, who was murdered in a 1990 hate crime) in the U.K. as part of its yearly development event.
“I wanted to do something that resonated with her cause, so I looked to my culture and I discovered Koudmen,” he says. “Koudmen is a French-Creole word, and is the act of helping hands. I wanted [the work] to speak globally, to say that if we enact a global Koudmen, then we could repair a lot of problems.”
Jallim Eudovic demonstrates discipline and humility despite being internationally courted for his art and design. “Arrogance is a cancer,” he says. “I am only a vessel. The outcome I create is not for me, it’s for the world.”
EBONY: What is the message you want to communicate through your art, and what is the work that you most enjoy creating?
Jallim Eudovic: I want to continue spreading my message of community and love for the world, that’s my personal philosophy. Wherever the spirit and the Most High takes me, that’s where I will go. I love public art. Public art is like a love bond. You are planting a seed, and that creates energy and pulls people towards it and makes people happy. Public art is the most powerful art.
EBONY: Talk about your choice to work in wood. What draws you to this material?
JE: Wood is a readily available resource in St. Lucia. Wood is so spiritual and organic. Bronze and other materials are very technical. With wood, you develop a relationship with it, and that is the story of life: developing relationships. With wood, you see the transformation of one material. Wood to me is regal, one of the most regal materials you can work with.
EBONY: What’s next for you, and what are your top goals as an artist?
JE: I am currently working on a very exciting project called Blocks. It is a very minimalist work but very powerful, and that is the work that I hope to exhibit in New York. I’m also preparing to go back to China. As an artist, I want to go to the highest level possible. Not only for myself, but also for my people and my region, to show that we are great. In terms of commanding a certain level of respectability and presence in the art world, I would like for my art to be in the best museums and galleries, just to open the floodgates. Because there is so much talent in the Caribbean, and I believe if one person makes it, then many others will follow.
—Una-Kariim A. Cross