Description This painting represents my unfolding in discovering who I am as an artist and poet, as well as an African descendant; it is also a message to all black women to 'embrace your natural beauty'
Carol Ann Edwards, London Member Since July 2008 Artist Statement My name is Carol Ann Edwards, but I write, paint, and perform by the name 'Cezanne'. I got this name one day when I was still at school; I was bored in class doodling on one of my books and the name just came out in the doodles! It stuck in the back of my head for over 20 years, until I unblocked as an artist and writer last year. One of the ways I was able to unblock, was to think of my artist as a child. The first painting I did when I unblocked was of my artist child, Cezanne. I also have a poem for this painting called 'My Artist Child', which was inspired by the book 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron. This book was instrumental in helping me to unblock as a creative being. I use the painting as a prop when I perform the poem. (You can read the poem by visiting www.myspace.com/cezannepoetess, in one of my blogs).
After painting Cezanne, my next painting was of a woman coming out of a flower. I had never seen this image before, but one night, just as I was about to fall asleep, this image flashed in my head, and I got up and drew it. I then painted it, originally in yellow, which I entitled 'Embrace Your Natural Beauty'. I later painted it in red, which I entitled 'Self Love'. Self-Love is a concept that came to me that 'before you can love another, you must first love yourself, and to love yourself, you must know yourself, and to know yourself, you must know your history'.
My artwork reflects my recent discovery that although my parents are both Jamaican, I am actually of African origin, as West Indians were originally taken from Africa to work on the plantations in the West Indies, before coming to England. This was never explained to me when I was growing up; we were brought up in the Christian religion and that's all we were taught. So it was a big surprise for me to find out that I was of African descent!
My painting 'My King' has a rather long poem that goes with it called 'Are U 'the One'?'. I love combining my artwork with my poetry, and plan to publish my first book of poems/art later on this year.
'Self Love' and 'My King' are the first in a series of paintings, which are all on the theme of 'the laws of nature'. I believe that by learning to love ourselves first, we will then be able to love others. If everybody lived by the simple law of 'treating others as we would like to be treated ourselves', this world would be a much better place to live in. Although my theme is universal, all of my paintings are of an Afrocentric nature because all life originated from Africa.
I have been told that my paintings have a 'healing energy', and even when I look at them, I can feel it. My aim is that my paintings don't just appeal visually, but also spiritually.