Roots
By: Erica M. James, Ph.D. Curator of The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, 2004

"...Claudette Dean paints from the spirit, what she believes in that moment is true. Though Dean first conceived this show as an opportunity to share her artistic journey through a type of visual autobiography, what has become even more important to her is that audiences realize that for her, and artists like her, art can become a medium in and of itself. The process of art making can initiate a spiritual transformation on the part of the artist, and the potential also exists for this spirit to move in the viewer as they engage the work.

The Rising Sun

This is a philosophy once espoused by artists such as Mark Rothko. As Dean has submerged deeper into her spirit, moving from the works addressing her Canadian heritage such as Lineage to works such a Sorrow, Roots and The Rising Sun, like Rothko she has loosened her imagery to the point where literal representations of figures dissolve into geometry and color. By the time Dean laid her brush down in Multicolored Culture the aim of the artist had moved beyond transformation to transcendence.

In Dean’s work, one clearly sees the influence of Gustave Klimt and Diego Rivera. Klimt and Rivera also studied Byzantine and Gothic art, and the Mexican Rivera was considered a noted Cubist in the early Twentieth Century, working along side the doyen of the movement, Pablo Picasso. By picking up a brush, Dean, like every Bahamian painter, enters into a historical discourse whose roots reach beyond The Bahamas. By studying the work of these artists, Dean brings their history to her work, taking what she needs to shape her vision."

Welcome to My Journey


Embracing the unknown, I continue to explore and to express from my place of connection, and to follow the Golden Thread. Through the process, I find my gifts, and through the work, I share them. And the journey continues.

— Claudette Dean

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Remarks and Reactions


…Claudette Dean paints from the spirit, what she believes in that moment is true…what has become even more important to her, and artist like her, is that art can become a medium in and of itself. The process of art making can initiate a spiritual transformation on the part of the artist, and the potential also exists for this spirit to move in the viewers as they engage the work."

...Sometimes she takes the viewer by the hand, leading them to quietly discover hidden secrets and wonders. At other times, the intensity and beauty of Claudette's work is so powerful, it takes the breath away, opening a doorway to what an Enlightened Master meant when he said "The Heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam."

...Seeing Claudette's work, one can't help but conclude that she is spiritually connected to unwritten laws that foster harmonius coexistence free from the superficial veils of delusion that mask our true selves."

David Mackey
Director, Mackeymedia

There are many functions to art, and telling stories of a different spiritual reality is the happy and intriguing by-product of Dean's need to create."

Susan Moir Mackay
Honors B.A.

...it is a phenomenal gift to pull into imagery the unimaginable inner world, yet Dean does it with a quiet confidence..."

Susan Moir Mackay
Honors B.A.

Claudette Dean