Independent visual artist, Paul Freeman is the Artistic Director at the Nina Haggerty Centre for the Arts, an art centre for artists with developmental disabilities in Edmonton and a drawing instructor at the University of Alberta in the Department of Art and Design, Freeman, received his BFA from The Alberta College of Art & Design (Calgary) in 1998, and his MFA from the University of Alberta (Edmonton) in 2005. He is the recipient of numerous Academic awards Scholarships and Grants, and his work has been exhibited in public and private spaces across Canada.

Artist Statement

Working in sculpture and drawing and digital media, my art practice currently focuses on the tensions emerging around genetic technologies and its effect on our feelings about the dissolving biological boundaries between genders, species etc. and dominance or control in general.

My most recent work, especially the pen and ink drawings on brown paper, is about how often we use mind control tricks on each other and how we manipulate surroundings or perceived cause and effect to alter behavior in others. Between thinking about mind control as conspiracy theorists fear it, and mind control as it is practiced through everyday interactions, especially between adults and children, these drawings emerge from thinking about common ways in which we manipulate our surroundings or the perception of cause and effect to influence behavior.

Beginning with a series of Matadors – inspired by Delgado’s remote mind control experiments, the works have evolved to include lion and elephant trainers and rodeo cowboys, all engaged in the pursuit of literally controlling or subduing human brains. The series “Full Frontal Lobes” is also mind control inspired. These drawings show the softer side of mind control in contrast to the forceful figures in the former drawings these works focus on the softer manipulation of sex.