Mr Ram
Crossroads
Grandfather

My grandfather was a shaman from Jamaica belonging to Afro-Caribbean religion which includes movements such as Vodou, Obeah and Santeria. When my grandfather died, I died also. I became Black the container of Red.........

My practice responds to a personal and ancestral history through a psychological lens. The personal is political and the political is communication; I hope my practice communicates interests in identity and explores issues surrounding mental health. When I was 12 years old, I became seriously ill and was sectioned. Psychiatrists thought I had psychosis. At the heart of the work is a questing for the demonic.

The demonic cannot be overthrown or out tricked because these things are beyond the grasp of reason. The demonic exists without language because words are without essence, words are only containers alluding to the truths they seek to replace.

Paradoxically it is within this failure to untangle that we (Black and Red) hope to find.........sculpture as formless landscape/drawing as psycho-navigation. Sculpture for me is an endeavour to capture the essence of another world (Red-Abyss), to give voice to an invisible reality. A key reference in my thinking is Georges Bataille’s theory 'L'Informe', however it is important to say that I don’t consider my work to be surreal because I don’t dream. A drawing is a waking/lived reality even if invisible to this realm.

It is impossible to give life to substances (in any direct sense) within this realm that are not made of it, drawing for me is like standing upon a frozen lake where beneath the ice I observe redness. The paper is the ice and my pen an ice pick, with this tool I carve into the surface the shadows of tangible entities simmering below, this scarification exposes and amplifies mark making with sculptural intention. I am in pursuit of a sensation that can break the membrane, to move an image beyond its state of illusion and into possession (to hold a presence more than itself).

I have recently begun investing in bespoke framing, these containers are currently made entirely from blood red transparent perspex. The perspex saturates a work with a coloured hue. These sculptural devices aim to instil a distance between the viewer and the artwork (tapping into this idea of the frozen lake as mentioned above), thereby giving the drawings their own context and world to be held within.

© 2022 RedBlack D. Lawrence