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Desrie Thomson - George
The early years in Desrie’s birthplace, Guyana, established a significant appreciation of the life of the people in a society and in the neighbouring territory of Suriname before arriving in the UK.
The recollection of an adolescence in the UK revolves around the many challenges, including the key issue of identity; her primary concerns have been to identify and maintain a cultural identity in a foreign land without being alienated. After graduating in Fine Arts in Nottingham, Desrie immersed herself in the task of creating positive images of Black people through literature and visual arts media.
As a founding-member of the trail-blazing independent publishers, Black Ink, a rewarding 8 years were spent engaged principally in publishing creative writing by young African and African-Caribbean authors. During this period, she produced children's book illustrations for a number of independent and established publishers, including A&C Black.
The duality of the experience stemming from Caribbean roots on the South American mainland to a modern Britain set in a broader, cooperative European context, has been a constant source of strength and inspiration. The approach to her work reflects this duality as an artist in the chosen disciplines of painting and sculpture - on the one hand, an African-Caribbean woman, living in the UK, producing paintings displaying Western influences in her application of paint - on the other, sculptures inspired by west African Benin art with an immediate, pared down and stylised approach.
Through painting and sculpture, a fresh and unconventional approach is taken to traditional subjects.