Ashburton Hall, Deshi Arts presents….
Art Exhibition by Joyce Treasure
‘Our Visual Cortex and the Obscuridad’
14 Feb – 27 Feb 2018
All Welcome, Free entry
Artist: Joyce Treasure is a multidisciplinary artist from South East London, currently studying and living in Birmingham to complete a BA honors degree course in Black Studies.
30cm x 49cm
Original mixed media collage: pound note, postage stamps, acrylic, resin, ink, bible, fools gold leaf. Background: Gothic German dictionary.
“The Soul of the Nation Resided in the Stool” titled loaned and starting point of art piece influenced by Yaa Asantewaa appointed queen mother of Ejisu of the Ashanti Empire now modern day Ghana. In 1900 she led the Ashanti rebellion known as the War of the Golden Stool against British colonialism.
She promoted women emancipation as well as gender equality. This image is sliced with my take on The Statue of Liberty. Gifted to USA by France, designed by Frederic Augusta Bartholdi. Chains lie at the feet of the statue to represent the emancipation of enslaved people. Unfortunately these chains are hard to see and can only be viewed from a certain point.
Gone With The Wind ceramic assemblage piece, is a nod to the epic civil war film set in Atlanta Georgia, Gone With The Wind, starring Vivien Leigh and Clarke Gable. Given the civil war setting of the movie, there are few roles or scenes that depict the authentic struggles of black people in the south. The most notorious is the role of Mammy played by Hattie McDaniel. Her supporting role made her the first African American women to win an Oscar in 1940. In contrast, a special concession was made for Hattie, so she could accept her award at The Ambassador’s Coconut Grove nightclub, as there was a strict no blacks policy. Civil rights leaders at the time criticized her for taking stereotype roles. She is quoted as saying, “I’d rather play a maid and make $700 a week than be a maid and make $7.”
Given the influence films have on our psyche, many academics such as Kehinde Andrews in his article ‘White Psychosis’ argue the effects such narratives have on us as a society. Suffice to say that most black historical narratives depicted through film and education have been told from a white perspective. With that in mind, my question would be to ask, where does that leave us? If we are to examine such structures that upholds the dominant narrative, and as suggested in C Wright Mills’ Social Imagination we are to look away from our daily lives and see the world through a “new lens” then such familiar perspectives need to be questioned for the sake of progress and change. He goes on to say that this requires us to look at links between “private troubles” and “public issues”. In my work I draw parallels between my own experiences that in turn have driven how I therefore view the world.
During a trip to Haiti in April 2017 and to West Africa May, June and July 2017, I looked at various art techniques. I was particularly drawn to the work I saw in Haiti. Artists Lesly Pierrepaul from New Vision Art School. Timoun Rezistans, Frantz Art Guyodo Jacques and Andre Eugene located in Rue de Magazin in Port Au Prince all make art using found materials. Voodoo is a central theme to what is produced. This spiritual and visceral approach to art has very much influenced this piece Gone With The Wind created in 2018. The course was a critical and theoretical degree, which informs my current work and building on a method I began previous to my artistic and historic travels to Jamaica, Haiti, New York, Senegal, Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria.
Gone With The Wind.
Mixed media sculptor. Some found objects:
• Dolls head found in Senigambia, Gambia.
• Cowrie bead found on the floor going through customs travelling from New York to Senegal. Security.
• Ceramic ornament, felt, acrylic, ink, glass, metal biodegradable plastic and text, electric parts and text from the opening chapter of Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell first published in 1936.