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Sustainable Garden & Art on Rocks | Ahhh... RAS NATANGO GALLERY & GARDEN

In the middle of the hills on Montego bay, in a small and quite community I found an amazing family that live and breathe art and nature. Ahhh… Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is a magical place owned by a unique family that choose to live with nature and not against it.

Its is more then a garden or just a tour, its truly an experience and a way to learn from other people perspective. The Garden tour leaves you amazed by how many things can be re-used and the importance of letting nature do its own, and we (humans) will adjust.

You can feel the love this family have for their home and land they had dream of and then build by hard work and patient. There is a lot to learn from the power of a family who stick together to build a better future, and work together with respect.

Trying to avoid the upcoming rain we were invited by Tamika to start the Garden tour, while walking in the garden I felt this spiritual feeling from the surrounding that literality kept us dry until we reach to the top of the garden, where you can see this amazing view..

From the top of the hill or what used to be a cliff, I saw the most beautiful view of Montego Bay I have ever seen, truly breathtaking. That moment was really special and memorable.

The story of the gallery and garden is so special and one of a kind, you can hear more about it in the last video linked here :

Ras Natango art is so authentic and Jamaican that by visiting the gallery I immediately started recognizing locations and situation based on the painting I saw. It was so special to see how thru the painting he captures a story of a nation but on the same breath, a very true and personal story.

The whole family has an artistic soul, from land scaping and gardening, to painting and graphic design, Art and creation are something that is very present in this family, but also LOVE.

The most memorable thing to me was just observing how Tamika and Ian (Ras Natango) are still fully in love after years of marriage, and how their son, Ayale apricate, love and care for his parents.

What I loved the most is the fact that I can truly connect to the family and get to know them by their art and creation, from the moment you walk in the you will notice how much of them is present in their art, and how free they are to express themselves.

The garden tour is about 45 to an hour long, its interesting and combined of many different areas in the garden when each tells a different story about the culture and history of the island and the area. The terraces are basically carved and crated on the hill side and in the background, you can hear many different noises of birds and other natural sound… Just amazing (can’t stop saying that)..

Food & refreshments is available based on pre-order and local availability of natural produce, so you know that all of the ingredients are from local farming communities in the area.

Now for the art lovers you will be happy to hear that all Ras Natango painting in the gallery are for sale, and he also offer art classes that anyone (artistic person & not) can take. In the gallery you can also find Tamika and Ayale art piece, with their own unique signature.

After the full tour we set down to talk, and of course the first things I had to ask was how is the business going during the pandemic, and what kept you all motivated and active in the past year?

“..The dream of my small family to come through healthy happy and smiling on the other side of the challenges of the unprecedented pandemic. There is always value in the valley. With the inability to pay staff we had to tend the garden on our own and this has kept us active and oh how beautiful the garden is. We have so much to show from this time together. We treasure the time spent tending the garden, painting and staying sane…”

Tamika response was so real and showed me how much comfort and motivation you will receive once you choose to just always get the most of ‘life situation \ circumstance’ and how important it is to cherish life right now, every moment of it.

Next I wanted to know What do you anticipate the most once tourism will come back to operation and things will get more ‘normal’ after the pandemic?

“…I am a hugger. I long to see people and share the experiences of all who will visit. Ahhh… is an experience not only for visitors but for us. I anticipate listening to our guests as they too exhale and give thanks that we all are here. I do not have many friends but Ahhh… affords us the ability to meet new people and share so much of Jamaica. I long to share the wonders of life love our family and the garden…”

With that been said, I recommend young artists to visit the gallery, and meet the family. As a content creator I know that doing art or creative work can get pretty challenging and emotional, so I decided to ask Tamika, What message do you have for young artists?

"...Everything begins with an artist’s concept. Artists ought to be sure to have at least one person who totally believes in what they do. Perfection is NOT a part of any art form and the best an artist can do is to always be true to self. For example. One may believe taking a photograph will be perfect but we also know this is dependent of the viewer. How the lighting is the pose, so many things and so the photographer must never lose confidence in the finished product because the viewer has free choice to appreciate or not.

Be open to constructive criticism to a point but belief in self is what will determine the success. Enjoy your chosen art form and let it speak for you. No matter the journey we do reap what we sow. Difficult times are as ordered and as sure as the sunrise, Grow through it all. When you feel down turn to your art, sing write paint dance create.

My best photographs are taken when I am so emotional I do not think and then I use challenging times to pick up my camera. The creator of all life IS an artist. What a profession to have choose you. Every time you make something with your art you are creating. To whom much is given much is expected so there is also a huge responsibility on how we brand our art and selves. This is how one lives forever. Through the arts. The choice is yours, How do you wish to be remembered? As a contributor, or its opposite. The choice is yours..."

Truly beautiful inspiring words that I had to include in this article and really made me to look into myself and find more faith in my mission and talent, and I do hope it did the same to you.

Now to summaries it all, I had to end this with a wish, so I asked Tamika, What is your biggest wish for the future of Ahhh...Ras Natango gallery and garden?

"...My biggest wish for Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden is to be the visual art inspiration for all artists globally. To have Art and the appreciation of all art forms become a normal part of every day, Artists think with the other side of the brain and this makes for happy people. I wish to see Ahhh…become such a beacon of success it will encourage, motivate the youth to stay the course and see that dreams become a reality, see that each artist has a contribution to make and to be financially able to continue what we have been doing all our lives, teaching our youth to fish, My wish is to have Ahhh… financially able to make our golden years less focused on money but being able to enjoy all we have worked for. Ahhh… IS already a huge success but we wish to be recognized for our contribution to our country and our youth while enjoying the finer things of life. My wish is for the youth to be so motivated by our success they will choose to unearth their own talent and enjoy what they create..."

May this wish will come thru and much much more! guys, this is a must destination to visit, and safe space to express yourself as an artist or just as a person, so I really want to encourage everyone to check out this amazing attraction to get an authentic Jamaican experience.

For booking contact: AHHH… RAS NATANGO GALLERY AND GARDEN - Tamika Williams | | +1- (876) 875-4453

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