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Published on March 07, 2022

Colleen Coleman

Colleen Coleman explores the material, cultural, singular and collective qualities of being in the world. What it is to occupy a body, existing and navigating through a material as well as social world. What it is to exist as an entity possessing and possessed by all of its realities, possibilities and limits, as well as an acute awareness of those inherent qualities. Her drawings reflect her fascination with the material details of her “self”, such intimate sketches of mundane fluffs of her own hair, as well as in the case of her performance centered installation, epic marathons of physical endurance, remembrance, gratitude, healing and love.

Colleen Coleman, Drawing Performance 30 x 7’, site-specific, graphite on paper, 2022

Artist's Bio

Colleen Coleman, born in Darlington, South Carolina, the daughter of Dorothy Silva Coleman, a Social Activist and community leader in small industrial working class town of Ansonia, Connecticut. She is a multidisciplinary artist and educator currently based in Brooklyn, New York. She completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the Art Institute of Chicago, in Sculpture with a focus in performance and printmaking. Coleman majored in Art History and Painting, sparking her interest in Surrealism and Flux’s movements. Other artistic influences are spiritualist painter Hilma af Klint and W.E.B.DeBoise, Alice Neel, Howardina Pindell,Gordon Matta-Clark, Adrian Piper, Fred Wilson, Martin Puryear, Sol Lewittand Mathew Barney all serving as inspiration to Coleman’s practice. Her work as an art administrator has included; Program Coordinator for the Urban Artist Initiative, a NEA funded program of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in partnership with the Connecticut Commission on the Arts in partnership with the Institute for CommunityResearch (ICR), Hartford CT. She was the Artistic Director for the ICR where she bridged Art and research, Her endeavors included nurturing ethnically and culturally diverse artists and organizations throughout the state and overseeing exhibition and public events. Coleman’s studio practice has developed over the years to including, drawing, installation and social practice. Her work challenges social norms, structures, gender, and race, while in dialog with art history. Coleman see’s the arts and herself as a catalyst for healing, and making the spiritual visible amid the material.

Artist Statement

In my studio practice I make drawings, collage, performance and installation. Working in figurative and non-figuration as a means to mine and reshape my experience of the world. I investigate the subject of the domestic; history, mysticism, the body, place, and space.

I am an interdisciplinary artist, a maker, exploring materials, process, and labor in the making of my work. How a work develops and ideas interplay, the experimentation of using a variety of media. Each process contains its own language and allows me to express myself and reflect while pushing into the process.

The act of drawing is immediate and explores mark making in relation to time, space, and energy. In collage; ephemera, books, found objects are both reference and material. Performance grew out of the installation work which suggests ritual. The act of making is liminal space, a place of transgression.

I attempt to work through trauma uncovering that which was hidden. I create fabulation to confound the effects of racism, history and the future of blackness, my work is a act of LOVE for the world.