Frances Lemmon : William Le Lacheur ' The Land He Loved'
My interest in William Le Lacheur started in 2015 when I was commissioned by the late Joan Ozanne MBE to paint two oil paintings for the Forest School. One was of William Le Lacheur and the other was of his ship The Monarch, together they hang in the foyer of Forest School.
The portrait of William Le Lacheur intrigued me and as she was always willing and happy to share her enthusiasm for the subject, Joan told me more about this famous Guernsey man and his endeavours.
The more I found out about him, the more I realised that not many people knew this story and so began a journey to reach William Le Lacheur’s Costa Rica – a journey that was realised last January through the Guernsey Arts
Commission when I set off for San Ramon for a three week art residency. Whilst in San Ramon I lived with a local family, which had a space to paint in and
curated a pop-up exhibition of my sketches in San Ramon Regional Museum.
Throughout 2019, as part of their ongoing collaboration with Art for Guernsey, 16 local schools also studied William Le Lacheur’s legacy. The pupils produced artworks inspired by his lifetime achievements in Costa Rica. The project also included a Football Festival where hundreds of children played with their own designed shirts inspired by the special relationship between Costa Rica and Guernsey. It culminated in a shared exhibition in June 2019 of the student’s work and my paintings of Costa Rica.
Finally, this exhibition looks at the various different aspects of William Le Lacheur; humble Guernsey man, ambitious entrepreneur, political champion but above all things, a true humanitarian.
I would like to thank the Guernsey Arts Commission and Arts Foundation Guernsey for enabling this exhibition to happen.
My thanks also to Guernsey Museums and Galleries, Art for Guernsey, Melissa Mourton, Armanda Vargas-Araya, Sheila Pacheco, Peter Lyons, David Ummels, Gillian Lenfestey, Sian Ellis and Isabel Chaves for their individual contributions to this project.