Daphne Arthur


Psychological spaces are the focal point of my work- the formation of identity through the investigation of nature, culture, and invention. Channeling intricate layers of references between modern life and 18th Century heroism, my work is a reimagining of context. Combining elements of various mediums, I aim to foster new points of inquiry and highlight problematized spaces. This work can, in many ways, be a reflection of my own identity as I draw from Venezuelan, Trinidadian, and American cultures equally. This displacement, which is the result of geographical confluences, the evolution of language, and a recent history of political unrest; gives birth to self-contained world where fragmented narratives and auto-mythologies blur the line between real and fictional for the human condition.
My work is dedicated to rethinking the traditional composition, and casting my subjects in ways they are not normally perceived. Identity, cultural history, and sociopolitical abrasion are powerful inspirations for me; and they illustrate moments in time where hope and reinvention take place within our modern society. These changes are the result of the evolution of potential… circumstances which are altered by the layers of progress beneath them.

"Daphne Arthur’s smoke on paper, employ an interesting technique. Her drawings remind one of tableaux vivants, or stage-like pieces that convey the unmistakable feeling of entering a room. Arthur has made her work teem with narrative and life. She is telling a complex story, yet shrouding the narrative in a complicated set of visual techniques. With the drawing Marks of Dust That Wander, specks of gold leaf nearly float off the paper and rest on the eye, making the work both precious and ominous, like a too fattening piece of cake asking to be eaten. Even without knowing the medium, one still senses the smoky and cloudy atmosphere these works possess. Shadows, the faint hint of plants, foliage and architecture all set the scene. A figure, round breast, flowing gossamer gown, the trunk of a tree, a smoky, secret garden emerge captivating and catapulting us to another culture (perhaps the Pacific Rim). Her work is a travelogue of her imagination and precise story telling. In viewing Arthur’s work, we are not here, we are there."
by Louis Zoellar Bickett, Lexington, KY