John Freeman, Warwickshire Member Since September 2008 Artist Statement John Freeman, July 2008
My work has been strongly influenced by the use of space in compartmented objects. These include cells, pigeon-holes and pockets; and how they have developed and from what. I have looked at the practical use of space and its division and the process of compartmentalisation as seen in pigeon-holes and other such objects. Shortly after this, my work has become informed by the aesthetics of data graphics, the principles behind the visual representation of data and the link between mathematics and number systems and spacing systems. This has led me to my more recent work based on the notion of over-decoration of data graphics which Edward R Tufte refers to as 'chart junk' in his book 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information'. This has led me to investigate how over-decoration can be used to subvert an information display, and in effect destroy the validity of a data graphic display, distorting the true information passed on to the consumer.
Something that has been of great influence to me is the book -The Visual Display of Quantitative Information' by Edward R Tufte. Since coming across this book it made me look at data graphics in a different way. The book discusses the integrity of a data graphic and how it may be affected by the use of over-decoration. The super- mannerist architect, Robert Venturi, he looks upon billboards and large advertising signs as important elements of architecture, he started using environmental scale lettering, super-graphics and the use of unfamiliar materials in his own vocabulary of architecture. The work of Bridget Riley and Victor Vasarely where the use of lines to create an illusion of movement and start to look as if they are moving on the page. This use of colour and pattern in graphical displays forces the viewer to then constantly check back to some kind of key or legend which can take time and cause confusion when it comes to reading off complicated sets of data.
I gained my BA Hons in Art and Design at the UCE in 1999. I have continued in exhibiting and developing my art practice. As well as plan exhibitions and continue to develop my portfolio, I am currently embarking on a teacher training course.
• 2002 John Freeman Recent Works, Birmingham City Plaza, Birmingham
• 2001 Room With a View, Collection of Recent Woodcut and Screenprints by John Freeman, Room at the Top, Nuneaton Town Centre, Nuneaton
• 2005 Contemporary Concepts, 24th September- 6th November, Riversley Museum and Art Gallery
• 2007 Solo exhibition, The Birmingham & Midland Institute, Margaret St, Birmingham
• 2002 Eyepoppers, City Museum, Brunswick Road, Gloucester