Black Pony Gallery has launched an online solo exhibition featuring the work of Bahamian artist Dede Brown.
The exhibition – titled Inner Voices can be viewed by clicking here.
Curator Lisa Howie said, “Black Pony Gallery is pleased to announce the ﬁrst online solo exhibition for Bahamian artist Dede Brown. Featuring original mixed media paintings, the exhibition Inner Voices runs December 18, 2020 to January 11, 2021.
“In this series of intimate portraits, Brown continues her exploration into the human psyche, centering on the idea of one’s saboteur – that inner voice or voices who can make us question ourselves, often spouting negative thoughts and theories, encouraging self-doubt and at times inﬂicting disruption and chaos.
“True to the realm of surrealism, where the subconscious and supernatural are given full reign, the works may speak to our shared silent suﬀering or, for others, evoke the current context, which is full of uncertainty.
“Yet as Brown confronts the subconscious by giving it a physical embodiment – one that appears dark and ominous – a closer look at the details will reveal an underlying beauty ﬁlled with lightness, femininity, and vulnerability.
Dede Brown - Not Just A Visitor, 2020 mixed media on paper [20x15, $1,500]:
“Dede Brown was born in Freeport, Grand Bahama and grew up in Nassau. She studied at The Savannah College of Art & Design and has a BFA in Interior Design, with a minor in Photography. For the past ten years she has practiced as a freelance artist and photographer.
“Brown has permanent sculptures in the Nassau Airport and at BahaMar Resort, and she has participated in several group exhibitions in Nassau and in two international residencies. Brown currently resides in Spanish Wells, Eleuthera, where she works from a home-based studio. Her work is very ﬁgurative with a strong focus on female and androgynous forms.
Below is an exclusive Q&A between artist Dede Brown and curator Lisa Howie:
Lisa Howie said, “Please discuss the narrative qualities of your work, notably the saboteur motif; is this responsive to the global context or more of a speciﬁc personal experience?”
Dede Brown said, “The concept of the saboteur is deﬁnitely something I have been exploring on a personal level for some time now, but it was brought into clearer focus after spending much more time in isolation due to the current circumstances of the global pandemic.
“I am quite curious about how this concept manifests in our minds, the role it can take on in our daily lives, activities, relationships and ultimately how it aﬀects and inﬂuences the decisions we make. In many ways I have perceived this concept as dark, ominous and unapproachable so I thought, what better way to confront it than by giving it a face or some sort of physical embodiment.
“As I have moved through this series it has revealed many more layers – some are soft, some fragile and vulnerable. I am now contemplating that perhaps the saboteur is not only an interfering menace but at times a guardian, trying to convey warnings and even protect us.”
Dede Brown - The Saboteur I, 2020 mixed media on paper [20x15, $1,500]:
Lisa Howie said, “That’s interesting — the angel in disguise. Your portraits are bold and, in some instances, include natural forms. In what ways is island living embedded in your practice?”
Dede Brown said, “As a creative person, I think one’s environment is something that always impacts your work, whether negative or positive. We are stimulated by and respond so much to what is around us.
“I am lucky to live in a very soothing, serene and beautiful place and I gain a lot of inspiration from the colours, light and textures that surround me. The more I engage with my environment, the more evident the intricate details become.
“I love focusing on the details and working with mixed media allows me so many opportunities to play and constantly bring new aspects of my environment into the work. The more I practice this, the more I realize how much it sets a tone and background for my narratives.”
Lisa Howie said, “Narratives – exactly – and in this exhibition each portrait is the lead character in a psychological drama. Surrealism rocked my world on my art journey. Do you share that enthusiasm? Have you been inspired by the elements of, or the players in, surrealism?”
Dede Brown said, “I do share your enthusiasm towards surrealism and am fascinated by the use of narrative and symbolism. I am particularly intrigued by the life story and works of Frida Kahlo. She unveiled so much emotion in her paintings, surrounding what she was experiencing in her life at the time.
“I think we have been conditioned by societies to bury our emotions, especially if they are negative, so naturally art becomes another outlet for them.
“Jaume Plensa has also been a big inspiration to me. I love how diverse his works are in terms of scale and medium and how, despite their immense size, he is able to capture the human spirit in such an intimate and ephemeral way. I have a great interest and curiousness about the human condition and attempt to capture these qualities in my works as well.”