Maya Freelon Asante

Artist
Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
Baltimore, MD
In 2005 I discovered a stack of brightly colored tissue paper tucked away in my grandmother’s basement. After unfolding the tissue, I noticed that water leaked onto the paper and left an intricate stain. This event inspired a shift in my creative process. A few weeks after I started working with tissue paper, Hurricane Katrina began bearing down on the Gulf Coast and I witnessed “water moving color” literally, the power of nature, and the neglect of a nation. The sheer magnitude of the destruction and the remaining marks of flooding struck a direct connection to my artwork.

Since then I have worked with “bleeding” tissue paper, witnessing its deterioration; in and out of water, ripped and pieced back together, thrown, stepped on, forgotten and remembered. The union of the tissue fragments is rooted in my familial quilt-making heritage and the tradition of preservation and resourcefulness. Each piece speaks to me as a memory of existence and resilience.
Spectra
33"x33"
Spinning Tissue Ink Monoprint
2012
I use "bleeding" tissue paper, water and archival pulp substrate to capture the chaotic movement of water and color blending on a spinning surface. By mounting my project on a potter's wheel, I'm able to stand above my work, and while in motion use the wet tissue like a brush. As the wheel turns at different velocities and intervals, the ink spreads and mixes with other colors while simultaneously the intricate stains are absorbed into the pulp substrate permanently.

The distribution of ink undergoing circular motion evolves in such a way that the gradient of the paint density changes with time and regions such as attractors, islands or basins appear. The colors then escape to infinity forming chaos artwork.
Here & There
10"x17"
Spinning Tissue Ink Monoprint
2012
I use "bleeding" tissue paper, water and archival pulp substrate to capture the chaotic movement of water and color blending on a spinning surface. By mounting my project on a potter's wheel, I'm able to stand above my work, and while in motion use the wet tissue like a brush. As the wheel turns at different velocities and intervals, the ink spreads and mixes with other colors while simultaneously the intricate stains are absorbed into the pulp substrate permanently.

The distribution of ink undergoing circular motion evolves in such a way that the gradient of the paint density changes with time and regions such as attractors, islands or basins appear. The colors then escape to infinity forming chaos artwork. The two large dark basins in this work are remarkably similar to KAM islands in chaotic Hamiltonian systems.
Time Lapse II
20"x20"
Tissue Paper Collage
2011
Spirals represents the cycle of life, death and rebirth. Tiny scraps of tissue paper collaged together were used to create the undulating sculpture “Time Lapse II”. Reflecting on Zeno's Paradox, I piece each tissue bit into the spiral meditating on the infinite possibilities of a single piece of paper breaking into minute fragments. I also envision this work evolving from the natural formation of the Spiral of Archimedes.