Just after the Long Bay Service Station in Fisherman's Park, a turn along a rough road will allow visitors to view the lifework of one of Jamaica's grand eccentrics: Ken Abendana Spencer. Spencer paints to support his building habit, for years he has been constructing a cross between a fortress and a multi-storied Grecian temple, known as Ken Abendana Spencer’s Castle. Standing at six stories the 'architectural sculpture' is quite a fascinating building with circular staircases, a vast studio, surrounded by a high wall.
Spencer would paint scenes of Jamaican life which, as a boy, he would sell for pocket-money in the capital of Kingston. In the 1950s he traveled to the UK but did not take the opportunity to attend Art School. Instead, he continued to sell his works, eventually buying a car, which became both his gallery and means of transport. He became an habitué and favorite of the basement clubs and jazz bars of Soho. His artistic education, such as it was, consisted of frequent visits to museums and art galleries where he picked up his technique. On returning to Jamaica in the 1970s, he started building a large house in Fisherman's Park, Long Bay, Portland. It remains a tourist attraction. From there he continued to paint figurative canvasses - seascapes, landscapes, vignettes of Jamaican life and, from the 1970s, individual character sketches. He died on 28 December 2005, aged 76.
Get your copy of Bay View Eco Resort's Portland Travel Guide
Add your name to receive your free copy today!
Join Bay View Eco Resort for exciting deals and promotions available at Bay View.