ED ney Freeman
Heart of Africa Shield.
Middle Passage Shield
Mocko Jumbie w/ Tourist at
World Sculpture Park
In my long search for a sculptural ceramic voice I have come upon a niche that speaks to my artistic vision. In my Shield Series, I use the African Shield form to convey universal messages. Titles such as "Religion Shield"- "Umbilical Shield"-"Earth Shield" "Ancestral Shield" - "Fertility Shield"- "Masculinity Shield" and "Hunger Shield" -"Middle Passage Shield" "Heart of Africa Shield" evoke strong metaphors, myths and sympathetic magic embedded in thematic structures and processes that give a sense of ancestral rituals. Raku applications lends itself to the works.
The "Slave Tag" series or "Lest We Forget Cast In Bondage-Slave Hire Tags" is a journey back in time to explore a once obscure area of cultural anthropology and valued archeological collectibles. I have taken the emblematic slave hire tag/badge and reinterpreted it into a visual narrative representation. The bas-relief 12 inch square Raku Clay sculptures are designed as wall hung pieces echoing in form, shape and orientation the 2 inch square copper slave hire tags found in Charleston, South Carolina from 1801 to 1864. In this series each piece captures a worker performing his duties. The characterization of a Porter, Servant, Cotton Picker, Stevedore, a Wheelright, Runaway Slave and other iconic images associated with the American brand of slavery are represented.
As with art in public spaces, I was fortunate to have been invited to Changchun China twice to produce two larger than lifesized bronze sculptures from wet clay using age old Chinese casting techniques. These two pieces are now placed in the "World Sculpture Park "and the "New Technology Park" in Changchun China. Urban Sculpture is an opportunity for homegrown sculptors to display the island's cultural and artistic expressions to visitors from around the world.
The Moko Jumbie that welcomes you to this website is an iconic figure throughout Africa and the Caribbean. Performers can be seen dancing high upon stilts some measuring eight feet high off the ground. They are said to keep evil spirits away from the village that dwell in tree tops. As a craftsman I have created costumed wire sculptures for the tourist market and other signature themes-"Steel Pan Player" -"Limbo Dancer" and "Quelbe Band" figurines. You are weclomed to contact me to explore the possibilites of embellishing your home , office or instituition with sculptural ceramics from EDney.
Tropical Masquerader w/ Whip