Resurrection

It’s simple, I work from the heart. The five new paintings that I am presenting mark the completion of a circle for me and the beginning of a new one fueled by a creative mindset which is simply to
Teach Love.

What follows is a piece written about these five new works by a friend and fellow artist who understands both my work and the world of contemporary art, Susan Moir Mackay, Honors B.A. In sharing this essay, I am celebrating these five new works and I am honoring the time and effort Susan has so graciously taken to write about my work. — Claudette Dean

Bahamian Sunflower

In art it is so important to keep pushing the boundaries and to step outside of your comfort zone. As an artist I love being given the challenge of creating for a specific theme. I find it exciting to see how my point of view reveals itself in the process of creating and how there always seems to be a constant when it comes to the source of inspiration, the place from which an artist’s thumbprint originates.

This year for the annual Transforming Spaces art event that takes place in Nassau, artists were asked to create using natural fibers that are found in the Bahamas; all of the participating galleries would have one theme “FIBRE”.

Claudette Dean New Years 2010

I told a good friend the other evening that I was “standing in my own power” and that things were good because of it. The phrase popped out of my mouth without much thought and I have since been reflecting on it as part of my end of year ritual.

Travel has been a big part of 2011 for me not only outwardly but also inwardly. I feel as though I have successfully completed a long hike that I have been on for many years and that now, at the end of this trail, I find myself standing in my own power. I have come to acknowledge and accept every part of my being, for better or for worse, taking responsibility for MY thoughts words and deeds and for no one else’s. I know my purpose and with love and gratitude in my heart I am ready for the NEW.

Beverly Hills Film Festival - John Voigt and Claudette Dean

The first part of 2011 has been one filled with travel for me starting with a trip to Beverly Hills California as guest artist at the Beverly Hills Film Festival. Back circa 1974 when I was sitting in a movie theater watching “Deliverance” I would never have imagined that my life would one day have me standing next to John Voigt taking a photo with him while I was showing art at the Beverly Hills Film Festival!!!

Jackson Burnside

Life can change in an instant as it did for the great cultural icon, architect and artist, Jackson Burnside and his beloved family.

How fortunate I am to have spent several hours at the Waste exhibition, just a few short weeks before his death, talking and laughing with the great Jackson Burnside not to mention actually exhibiting with him! A conversation we had on the front porch remains vivid in my mind; Jackson was recalling Nelson Mandela’s visit to the Bahamas and a discussion arose around the famous quote often attributed to Nelson Mandela:

Junk A New Look at You

The Artist is a recorder of the times we live in. You can pick up a book or look at the art from a certain period and know exactly what the people and events of that time were like.

Today’s art no doubt addresses the issues surrounding man and his environment. As an artist I have had the opportunity to add my voice to this dialogue in two recent exhibitions, NE5 – The Carbon Footprint (see Non-Biodegradable Blog post) and more recently “WASTE” held at Doongalik Art Gallery in Nassau in April and May 2011.

Sisters

This year 2011 started off with a gift from a gift that keeps on giving, my painting “Sisters”.

“Sisters” was painted back in 1999 for an upcoming show I was going to be a part of in Coral Gables Florida, well it never made it to Coral Gables. Soon after it was painted, it was purchased on behalf of the Paradise Island Promotion Board for a permanent art display at The Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau. The remark made at the time was that it was “museum quality” which for me was the biggest compliment I thought I could ever have received.

Mama Love

2010 proved to be a very busy and productive one in my world of art. It started off with putting together a proposal for a public art piece for the newly renovated and expanded airport facilities in Nassau, something I had never done before. I put together a presentation called "A Day in Paradise".  Then there was the "Love My Bahamas” mural project “A Grand Bahamian Vision”, NE5 – the 5th National Juried Exhibition at The National Art Gallery (see November blog post) and then my one woman exhibition “Inner Sanctum” (see October blog post) which was, I am proud to say, a part of the very first Carifringe Festival to be held in the Bahamas.

Claudette Dean and her painting Non-Biodegradable

Every two years The National Art Gallery of the Bahamas holds a national juried exhibition. A call for works is sent out and artists sumit work which is then viewed by a jury which then selects pieces from those submitted to be a part of the exhibition. This year marked the 5th national exhibition referred to as NE5. NE5 had as it’s theme The Carbon Footprint: Bahamian Artists’ 21st Century Response to the Environment.

Inner Sanctum Show

Inner Sanctum is my latest exhibition. It opened at Popopstudios in Nassau, Bahamas on October 8th, 2010. For this exhibition, John Cox and his team at Popopstudios transformed the space using curved walls to actually create the Inner Sanctum. Bold colors were chosen from the actual paintings to use on the various sections of the wall to really complement the softness of the paintings. Within the Inner Sanctum, a voice recording of my poems played and added another dimension to the experience. I also had on display a hard cover book with poems and paintings from the show.

Claudette Dean