I came upon them back in 2016 on a beach walk from Brandon’s to one of my remembered places of joy, Batts Rock.
I didn’t have my camera but did take in the detail and line of the markings, wondering who and what. Strangely, not knowing anything about them did not prevent me from feeling a sense of pleasure, hope, wonder, and, yes, “safeness”.
Perhaps it had to do with my love of rocks, or of art; or just the fact that something new was there to surprise me amid the then apparent decay of a favoured area.
The beach is a tranquil secluded place where snorkelling is superb. It is near to the capital, Bridgetown, yet lies close to the popular attraction of the affluent West Coast. A stunning natural beauty where I used to go on picnics with friends and colleagues to wine down or renew.
You might catch sight of surfers there, glimpse the odd jet-skier whizzing by, see sargeant major (blackstriped yellow fish) and the precious starfish (please do not touch), enjoy a glittering sunset, or chatter with a small monkey up in the trees. But the rock statues will definitely take your breath away.
This set of Inuksuit type rock sculptures that take your breath away lies between Batts Rock and Paradise, which was slated to become the new Four Seasons resort site which is yet to materialise, and which so far has taken on the aura of a “folly”.
The rock statues though are no folly, and are mostly of coral and sandstone. It was a mystery to me how they’d got there, seeming to spring up from the sea itself. The NCC (Conservation Commission) feared they posed a threat, but no one should remove them. Why? That is an Inuksuit tradition or something like that. Besides they are marvellous; and they did try removing them but they just reappeared. 🙄
The Inuit are the original builders of rock people.
The Batts Rock artworks are believed to be the creation of a local artist, Philip King, but surely he didn’t defy the NCC and create more statues to replace those knocked down. Of course not!
No, I suspect they are an act of will. Because just as I drew strength and surety from the sight of them, so too may the wayward traveller.
To quote Elements:
“Inuksuit served many purposes. But perhaps more than anything, they once indicated to travelers that they weren’t alone, that someone had previously stood where they stood. ”
The Four Seasons
This development is still a work in progress, and hopefully some day it will be completed. The building is going through depreciation as the resort has been an on/off trial of patience and fiscal management to save what was initially a private enterprise. In 2019 Simon Cowell was mooted to have taken an interest in the proposed tourist site, but much has happened as we moved into 2020 with no concrete solution and got struck with the Covid-19 ague to tourism.
However the apparent decay of the Four Seasons Hotel dream takes nothing away from the natural awesomeness of the Batts Rock area; and with the refurbishment of the NCC building and the pathway, Batts Rock is back on my map big time.
I love and have loved this section of the beach coastal heritage. I hold fond memories of days evenings and nights passed here. Now it has an added flavour, even without a Four Seasons Hotel.
A nearby place to stay? Buddha Beach Cottages