Bringing life to wax

Barbados has a new attraction – a wax museum along the lines of the famous Madame Tussauds in London and New York. It is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and the wider Latin America region.

Madame Tussauds is well known for creating and displaying look-alike sculptures of famous persons from around the world. The museum here, however, will primarily highlight Caribbean icons who sometimes go unnoticed.

The venture, located in Christ Church along Maxwell Main Road, is the brainchild of Arthur Edwards who developed a natural talent for sculpting during his childhood days when he made sculptures from soap. To put this talent to effective use, he came up with the idea of opening the museum back in 2009.

Arthur Edwards, owner of the Caribbean Wax Museum.
Arthur Edwards, owner of the Caribbean Wax Museum.

However, it was not an easy journey moving the venture from idea to reality. There were setbacks along the way in the form of financial and other challenges which had to be overcome before the project could be brought to the present opening stage.

Originally, Pelican Village, near the entrance to the Bridgetown Port, was earmarked to be the home of the museum.  The choice was informed by Edwards’ view that Pelican Village is on the wrong side of the road and does not offer any attractions for tourists.

Explaining to Barbados TODAY the process of making a wax sculpture, Edwards said it begins with selecting a picture or taking a photo of the individual to be sculpted.

Using a chemical construct of wax and other components, the shape is formed after which the mould is made and cast in resin. The shape is then further refined and another mould is made and cast in silicon rubber. It takes three months to complete the figures with additional time allocated for clothing them.

As the figures are not completely made of wax, Edwards has assured that the heat and humidity of the island will pose no threat. He said the response from living individuals sculpted has been one of pure appreciation not only for the idea, but the fact that they were chosen.

Emile Straker
Emile Straker

He told Barbados TODAY candidates were given the option to choose how they wished to be depicted. Anthony Gabby Carter chose to be portrayed as he is currently, while Emile Straker of Merrymen fame chose to be portrayed as a younger man.

Anthony “Gabby” Carter
Anthony “Gabby” Carter

Olympic bronze medal-winning sprinter Obadele Thompson simply told Edwards “God bless you” when he found out about the sculpture. He chose to be depicted as he was during the Olympic Game.

Obadele Thompson
Obadele Thompson

According to Edwards, young people are generally unaware of the outstanding icons who have walked the earth. He therefore believed highlighting them was critical. Already he has faced criticism from the wider public through social media over the venture but he said he was open to sugestions.

Edwards is hoping, however, that Barbadians will embrace the venture and that as a result of positive regional response, the museum can eventually expand beyond Barbados to other caribbean countries.

Source: (KW)

24 Responses to Bringing life to wax

  1. Aviston Byer
    Aviston Byer July 14, 2016 at 9:04 am

    They don’t look like wax figures they look like big plastic dolls

  2. Ryan Williams
    Ryan Williams July 14, 2016 at 9:45 am

    Ammmm……..melt dese down and mek candles………..They are all hideous and who ever made them should go back to de wax board.

    • Blon D Mayers Trotman
      Blon D Mayers Trotman July 14, 2016 at 2:20 pm


    • Arturo Edward July 14, 2016 at 8:16 pm

      Thanks mate .. I do appreciate high standards. Maybe I fell a little short .. But it was tough and it took years. Maybe Barbados will produce some arts graduates that I can actually work with. Do put in a good word.

  3. Mhizz Joan Moore
    Mhizz Joan Moore July 14, 2016 at 10:34 am

    if these were made in china,that should explain everything

  4. The Negrocrat July 14, 2016 at 11:30 am

    Support his efforts.
    We need to stop pulling down and help those who are trying.

  5. Aviston Byer
    Aviston Byer July 14, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    Look like candles

    • Arturo Edward July 14, 2016 at 8:19 pm

      They are actually made of silicone rubber .. cast right here in sunny Barbados

  6. Shamaine Andrew
    Shamaine Andrew July 14, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    I cah tek dis

    • Arturo Edward July 14, 2016 at 8:22 pm

      You do not have to. Just see for your self what the camera has disguised. Support for a new venture. BTW, who else has done this in Barbados that I can call up and ask for some guidance?

  7. John Da Silva
    John Da Silva July 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    The wax figure on the left looks terrible. However, the one on the right is fantastic, down to the sweaty shirt.

    • Arturo Edward July 14, 2016 at 8:20 pm

      Pretty funny .. but it may have been intended to be insulting, so maybe a laugh would be inappropriate

  8. Arturo Edward July 14, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    Thanks Barbados Today. Your write up was bang on. I have never been treated so well by a media house. This is new territory. Hugs from Frances and me

  9. Asha July 18, 2016 at 1:15 am

    They may not be “perfect” but I thing some of them are actually pretty good. Some wax statues at Madame Tussaud’s don’t look like the person they’re supposed to depict either. At least this gentleman is trying to developing a new attraction for our dying tourist project. Give him a hand for that.

    Mr. Edward, I would love to come to your museum and see the rest of the sculptures.

    Hopefully corporate Barbados or an investor of some kind, catches wind of this and lends you some help in sourcing materials and making more sculptures. Keep up the good work.

  10. Andrew Jordan July 21, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Go for it Arturo.
    Forget the haters, let them tell you what they have build.
    Bajans are the most negative in the Caribbean, would never support they own, If this was an exhibit from foreign soil, they’d
    flock to see it.

    God Bless you man and keep reaching for the stars.

  11. Faith Crichlow July 26, 2016 at 9:46 am

    I love them mom! Great job!

  12. Faith Crichlow July 26, 2016 at 9:47 am

    I love them… WoW! Great job!

  13. Marquita jordan September 19, 2016 at 8:29 am

    An effort to be applauded. Lets all support this valiant effort.

    Marquita Jordan

  14. Marquita jordan September 19, 2016 at 8:33 am

    A very valiant effort. I really enjoyed the exhibits and every one should support this effort. Some of the exhibits overseas do not like the persons being portrayed. I could not do any better

  15. Hazeain Harding-King November 10, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    I think you all have done a fantastic job. Thanks so much for the effort and for highlighting our icons. Please do not be deterred by the awful comments I am reading here. Barbados is known for its beauty and wonderful cuisine, its talented people etc. Unfortunately it is also known for having citizens who are extremely critical of everything and everyone and who find it very difficult to say something nice no matter how hard they try. It is shameful. Everyone has a right to an opinion I am sure but is this negativity necessary? How can you better what is produced here? I will be bringing our school at the end of November to view these exhibits. Maybe they can appreciate your efforts through the eyes of a child. God bless and keep up the good work!


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