De’Anne Crooks
A Tale or Two

De’Anne Crooks, A Tale ot Two
In this photo there is a handkerchief decorated with brown, orange and blue borders. On the handkerchief De’Anne has begun to paint some text using acrylic paint, the text reads ‘Somebody’s pregnant, Som…’. Alongside the handkerchief there is an open sketchbook with drawings of various types of fish and a saucer with a goldfish painted onto it. Here De’Anne is midway through exploring the visualisation of the popular tale ‘If you dream of fish, it means that somebody is pregnant’. These experiments are evidence of how De’Anne is reimagining tales as heirlooms. Photo credit: De’Anne Crooks

De’Anne Crooks residency explores Caribbean tales, more familiarly known as “old wives tales”, using them as a springboard for investigation into a wider conversation around the validity, comfort and history of these tales across different cultures.


 

Exploring the origin, comfort, consequences, and the visual depiction of such tales, De’Anne will use this time in residence to consider the influence these tales have within different realities. In many cases, tales are shared by women which is an area of research De’Anne considers as crucial.

 

Built on a foundation of painting and drawing, De’Anne’s practice has developed into one of moving image, performance, and text. De’Anne is particularly interested in how these forms of art interact with, originate from, and are removed from Blackness. The moving image and the performance of their writing, usually monologues, faintly resemble the preaching and teaching styles seen in Black Pentecostal churches. This subtly underpins their practice as they draw upon their upbringing in the Christian faith. The use of language and imagery is intending to document important and marginalised experiences with a gentle and powerful voice; not dissimilar to the ‘tough love’ they experienced growing up. Much of De’Anne’s work derives from conversations, imagery, workshops, and teaching. Each of these processes reference their role as an artist educator where they, again, attempt to engage in critical conversations with the love, sincerity, and urgency; elements that are evident within Black Pentecostal church culture.

 

De’Anne’s work not only considers identity politics and critical race theory, subjects which have been explored in Western art for centuries, rather it explores the ways in which they can use the qualities of Blackness to have conversations about any other subject. To do this, De’Anne has been focusing on linguistics; the behaviour and politics of language and the Black women who raise and love them. Along with the incredible contribution of work made by the Blk Arts group in the 80’s and 90’s, De’Anne is inspired and charged by the writings of Stuart Hall, Bell Hooks and Toni Morrison. During this residency, De’Anne hopes to widen their reading and research, beginning with texts such as The Irish-Jamaican by Michelle ‘The Mother’ Hubbard and Duppy Stories by David Brailsford.

 

Open Studio

Saturday 15 January, 2-4pm

De’Anne will be opening their studio to visitors.  Please feel free to come along and have a chat.  No booking required.

 

deannecrooks.com

@de4nnecrooks

 

 

De’Anne Crooks completed their residency in the Artists’ Studio at the end of January 2022.  Here is the third film in a trilogy we created to document the residency and to share De’Anne’s ideas.

 

Some of De’Anne’s work produced during the residency can still be seen in a display on our Mezzanine level.  We loved working with De’Anne and wish them well with their future development.

Film: @blendfilm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Short films recorded with De’Anne in which the artist speaks about their research and the work created so far during their residency. ‘A Tale or Two’, De’Anne’s residency, will continue until the end of January 2022. 

 

December 2021

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 2021