Picture frames, buttons, flowers, wood blocks, mirrors and other objects – random to some, but symbolic to Lillian Blades – represent both the artist’s past and present. Far from chaotic, viewing her work yields an unexpected calm and sense of wonder. These images, like most of her mixed-media collages, incorporate an array of patterns using found objects that seem to float on planes of bright and dark colors with each object holding a special meaning to the artist – picture frames are about capturing memories; buttons symbolize the loss of her mother - a seamstress - and the desire to remain connected; flowers represent her grandmother and her aunt who were both florists. In addition, these objects are also subjective – leaving room for interpretation and self-reflection by the viewer.
Every angle of Blades' works encompasses discovery – physically, emotionally and mentally. Her images pay homage to her ancestral background and West African and African-American traditions while being both mesmerizing and reflective.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Lillian Blades was born in Nassau, Bahamas in 1973 and currently resides in Atlanta, GA. She completed a BFA in Painting at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Savannah Campus and a MFA in Painting at Georgia State University.
In addition, Lillian has studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and Caversham in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. Her work appears throughout the United States, as well as The Bahamas, Trinidad, Germany and South Africa. Her public commissions include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Jean Childs Young Middle School. As a public artist she enjoys collaborating with other artists and groups on large-scale assemblages such as The East Atlanta Library. Her artwork is also in the collection of the Birmingham Museum of Art and the National Art Gallery of The Bahamas.
Lillian was the 2016 Visual Artist awardee for The National Black Arts Festival. She also received an Award of Excellence in Visual Arts by The Bahamas Consulate in 2016.