Open channels 

In the process of creating art there is first a communion with oneself before the manifest art is brought before its audience. However, with the knowledge that there is more of an audience than simply the creator, the artist is faced with a challenge. The artist will choose to refine or muddle, and to repress or take risks with the message. This is the same process with all methods of expression and communication and all methods risk gaining and losing a percentage of the audience. To get beyond this issue entirely of what others think or infer from one’s own personal choices is an underrated triumph. It is through visual art and interaction with people of foreign language and culture that I have taken communicational risks this year.

Throughout the course of 2001 I began and eventually exhibited a series of work dealing directly with the topic of communication and its pitfalls. I employed the use of Braille, sign language and undecipherable handwriting. The results communicated what, for me, literal language could not. My ultimate objective may have been to be secure enough to accept truth and therefore be honest to and about myself. Ironically and appropriately, truth has an ever-changing face. The face of truth today becomes the vehicle for deception tomorrow. If we are resistant to necessary change then we practice self-deception. This is something that many overlook

During my stay in Scotland and Ireland this year I was able to have conversations at length with travelers from all over the earth. I discovered how eager people are to gain the tools of communication when the gap is wide enough. Why are we so indifferent to true understanding when we have common language?

The first days of 2002 I will be in Amsterdam. When I return to Detroit, this interaction of culture and language need not stop. Therefore, I will be regularly volunteering at the Detroit Day School for the Deaf. The opportunity to explore a world so foreign to most of us, resides within walking distance of the Cultural Center. Sculptor Phaedra Robinson works with detroitcontemporary

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