DETAIL: Toots ZYNSKY 'Pennellata' 2004, 'Filet de Verre' fused and thermoformed colour glass threads
Warwick FREEMAN | Leaf face

FREEMAN, Warwick
New Zealand 1953
Leaf face
brooch 2004
carved turtle shell, oxidised silver and stainless steel
6.0 (h) x 8.5 (w) x 0.8 (d) cm
Lent by Warwick Freeman
Photograph Warwick Freeman

An inextricable relationship exists between material, form and meaning in Warwick Freeman’s work. He consciously chooses materials native to the South Pacific region as a way of exploring notions of cultural, political and social identity, particularly within the context of contemporary New Zealand society. His hieroglyphic alphabet of symbols, both familiar and unfamiliar, is expressed through the language of natural and synthetic materials, such as greenstone, turtle shell, basalt and Corian. This group of works is presented as a ‘sentence’, juxtaposing the heart-shaped Kawakawa leaf and the Black butterfly, with the abstract Leaf face and Orange ghost. The relationship of forms that develops explores tensions between the given of a found object and its manipulation by the artist, alluding to issues of authenticity, appropriation and cross-cultural relations. Freeman uses these materials to invest his work with seriousness and historical allusion, making these images less a straightforward product of their culture than an exploration of it. SE

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