Tyrone Deans Explores The Concepts of Identity And Culture

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Emerging artist Tyrone Deans creates alluring compositions influenced by his Jamaican and British heritage; he explores the notions of identity, culture, slavery and race.

Experience and identity primarily shape Deans practice, which funds his exceptional, unique narratives on these multifaceted topics. Expressed by his imaginative blending of sand, salt and earth native to the Caribbean landscape produce a heavily rugged exterior to his creations.

Tyrone Deans

I am interested in questions regarding cultural and national definitions; Migration, Displacement, Power, History, Race, Culture, Religion and Slavery.

Tyrone Deans

Stylized by cracks, brush strokes, oil paints and accentuated with motif’s cast in charcoal. Deans harmonized the intensities of these materials governed by his Caribbean perspective to achieve aesthetically gratifying scenes that are readily accessible to the viewer.

Tyrone is an artist to keep a clear focus on as he develops his artistic affluence and is soon to be a connoisseurs favourite. We manage to catch up with Tyrone ahead of his debut solo exhibition, “Systemic Freedom”, at Thompson Gallery.

TYRONE DEANS Systemic Freedom Opens 18th May 2021

Q: For those who don’t know you, can you please introduce yourself? 

A: My name is Tyrone Deans and I am an Artist and Architect. 

Q: What is your inspiration, and why do you do what you do? 

A: I am inspired and influenced by my Jamaican/British heritage. I am interested in questions regarding cultural and national definitions; Migration, Displacement, Power, History, Race, Culture, Religion and Slavery. I’m inspired by writings, books, songs, articles, events, history, experiences and more. Life. 

The Marches Boyega Speaks Mixed media on canvas
Q: Can you tell us about your creative process?

A: My process combines the use of natural materials mixed with thick textured paints, sand, salts, oils and butters, overworked with charcoal, chalk, oil-bar and other mediums. I typically work on patterned ‘Ghanaian’ batik fabrics or canvas. 

The process is deliberately “other” –  attempting to dismantle the way in which identities or expectations are constructed, recognised and constrained. References to source materials are surreptitiously embedded into my works, often deliberately eluding the viewer.

I am interested in the trauma of feeling displaced or alienated from one’s surroundings. Many of the works depict mysterious landscapes which toe the line between figuration and abstraction, symptomatic of the world in which we live, where the boundaries are blurred.

Salt Wata
Q: Your work explores identity, culture, and class. Can you tell us the motivation behind this?

A: I am inspired and influenced by my Jamaican/British heritage. I am interested in questions regarding cultural and national definitions; Migration, Displacement, Power, History, Race, Culture, Religion and Slavery. I am inspired by writings, books, songs, articles, events, history, experiences and more. Life.

Q: What was the first piece of Art you created that cemented your path as an artist?

A: My Birth, as performance Art. I have always been an Artist. My works are the product of a lifetime’s knowledge, experience and skill. 

Captain Cudjoe Mixed media on canvas
Q: What is your favourite piece from your body of work, and why? 

A: Really hard to choose one – I enjoy all of them. Each piece grapples with memories of everyday experiences and historical knowledge, unpicking and presenting our history, whilst questioning the meaning of cultural and national definitions and identities. They each question our perceptions and perspectives, whilst manifesting struggles. I think they’re all interesting and unique. 

Accompong
Q: What can we expect to see at your upcoming exhibition “Systemic Freedom”? 

A: Many of the works depict mysterious landscapes which toe the line between figuration and abstraction, symptomatic of the world in which we live, where the boundaries are blurred. Exploring issues of culture, race, migration and class, the exhibition examines how one’s sense of self is systemically, socially and politically constructed, recognised and constrained, through mixed media collage paintings which communicate experiences and emotions that are impossible to convey linguistically. 

The works in the exhibition are layered, both physically and symbolically. Natural materials mixed with thick textured paints, sand, salts, oils and butters, overworked with charcoal, chalk, oil-bar and other mediums on brightly coloured ‘Ghanaian’ batik fabrics or canvas offer an insight into one’s quest for identity and self-knowledge. 

The materiality of the exhibition, incorporating shea and cocoa butter, also further illuminates my interest in subverted uses and meanings. The application of these materials, commonly used to moisturise black skin, is symbolic; shea butter is medicinal and evokes the power of healing for example. The exhibition presents an interest in the history of global trade routes: the links between Ghana and Jamaica through colonisation and the dutch made batik fabrics as a way into exploring European influences on Africa.  

Hot Sun Mixed media on canvas
Q: What role does the artist have in society? 

A: Every Artist plays a different role. Art can provide communities with joy, interaction, and inspiration. Art can also provoke thoughtful critique of our political, economic and social systems — fostering community engagement and inspiring social progress. Many fragile and complex reciprocal relationships exist between society and Artists, between culture and Art. 

Q: Lastly, what does Art mean to you? 

A: Everything.

https://www.instagram.com/tyronedeans/

https://www.instagram.com/thompsonsgallery/

©2021 Tyrone Deans

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