From The Realm of Dust
Across painting, printmaking, sculpture, video, mosaic, and mixed media works ranging from tiny and intimate objects to monumental panels, DeVane’s creative sensibilities leave no stone unturned in her quest to communicate her vision of the painful and troubled specificities of black American history side by side with her embrace of a pan-spiritual relationship to the divine. In the fabrication of her intricate and totemic sculptures, DeVane embodies the modularity and tactility of Constantin Brancusi, the additive processes and reach to verticality of David Smith, and the dazzling juxtaposition of materials of Mickalene Thomas.
Her work reflects an awareness of global artistic practices and a strategic use of American craft sensibilities that is situated within her profound roots in the local Baltimore creative community. She is part of a newly recognized generation of artists whose work explodes the narrow, constricted narrative of modernist art to make way for a more inclusive awareness of the pluralities and richness of American contemporary artistic production.
- Christopher Bedford
"From the Realm of Dust" is a series of mixed media works about the human condition and our relationship to realms beyond us. The creation of large-scale figural representation of mythological and religious entities personifies universal concepts and are identified as Avatars.
Examples of the goddesses in this series are those like MAWU, a deity represented in "Mawu-Moon Goddess, who is worshiped in coastal West Africa by the Fon. She is seen as a creator and is associated with the moon.
The piece "Dumballa" represents a deity in the African-based religion of Vodou in Haiti. He takes the form of a snake and is an agent of fertility.
"Erzulie" is the Haitian goddess of love and power. She is invoked as a symbol of female courage, desirability and strength, and symbolizes the ideal mother.
"The Lote Tree" marks the boundary where no soul is allowed to pass any further. Archangel Gabriel guards the passage. In Islamic lore, the Lote Tree marks the utmost boundary through which no one can pass. It is the tree that the Prophet Mohammed encountered at the climax of his legendary nocturnal ascent to heaven. This important number recurs in the seven earths and seven underworlds that pervade many philosophical traditions. The mystical writings of Baha’u’llah, founder of the Baha’is faith, defines the wayfarer's journey as The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys.
In the Greek myth "Dog Star", Sirius-Asteria scorched the Minoan Islands from the sky and was thought to have brought about the destruction of mankind. By doing so , he was responsible for saving the lives of the rest.
Several of these pieces synchronize spiritual beliefs represented in a myriad of cultures.