DWAYNE FREEMAN assemblage artist
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”
Douglas Adams (The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul)
That line helps my mind find stillness and keeps my eyes wide open when I am working on an assemblage, and it is certainly always in my soliloquy as I complete a piece and I am stepping back to give it one more overly critical look. Of course this only makes me wonder: When that woman completed the first drawings of mammals on her cave wall some 60,000 years ago, did she get to step back, breathe and look at her contribution to art with a critical eye? Did she say, "I may not have gone where I intended to go, but ..."?
We are all, at every moment, contributing to arts history, and art is created on the foundation of history. Coincidentally, at the same moment art becomes history, it can simultaneously sway the future. Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” and Keith Haring's "Silence=Death" are just two contemporary examples where art-fueled movements that altered the roads ahead. Before I was a teen, I lived and traveled throughout Asia, Africa and Europe with my parents. As a child, seeing places like Kilwa Kisiwani, the Parthenon or the Kiyomizu-dera Temple made me quickly aware of how ancient we are, and these experiences percolated my curiosity and sense of exploration about all things past. Throughout my school years, "history class" was never my Achilles' heel. So much so that "history class" redeemed my school report card each semester. The same could not be said of "art" class. The French painter Pierre Soulages said that art began from the earliest cave paintings, and like the cave artist all those centuries ago, I too am producing art to give a viewfinder a story. Being a new breed of "hunter-gatherer," I hunt for “old things”---gather and bring them together in assemblages to represent something new for human eyes to feed on.
Influenced by everyone from Arnold Newman as much as Gordon Parks or Betye Saar as much as Joseph Cornell -- My work is at times social, at times satirical and sometimes just about forgotten history.
- United States of America