A Tropical Iron Garden – Dean Arlen

Is it important for an artist to have a large body of work to understand them? Or is it the quality of the work we see that should be contemplated? Or more so, what of concepts yet to be made, should an artist’s work be considered important based purely on conversations about the work? These are the question that comes to mind first when I think about Dean Arlen the artist. He took Commonwealth Fellowship at the Ontario College of Art in 1994. He showed work at the Trinidad Art Society and he has won a competition in Trinidad in the 1997 for sculpture that was not realized by the creators. He has tried to get other artist involved in community environmental art projects over the years, and has produced one show at CCA7 in 2002.

It is not for want of trying that Dean Arlen has produced so little, he has spent more time focusing on creating a groundwork for the works he intends to make. This is difficult at the best of times, and even more so in Mr. Arlen’s instance because of the fact that projects such as his are practically unheard of and this is the beginning of his decade long vision realized at last. He also intends on creating environmental sculpture with other artists on the campus of the University of the West Indies sometime this year. Adele 2004

See his 2006 exhibition at the National Museum of Trinidad and Tobago

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