"Sculpture is crystalized spirituality" -Commander Burnham, Star Trek Discovery
My work is an exploration of our unconscious internal spaces. The work is a strategy of “working though” things, a way of processing emotion and gaining insight into this confusing, shifting, and ultimately unknowable interior. My process is highly intuitive and utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes.
The work itself often references the body, the point of contact between one’s interior space and the physical realm; a kind of psychic vessel that responds to the pressures of each. Borrowing imagery from architecture/interior design, sci-fi, and medicine, themes of violence, sexuality, vulnerability, latent anxieties, and degradation are explored utilizing naive aesthetics and humor.
By crystallizing emotions and concerns into physical objects and installations I am forced into physical relationship with them, which in turn provides an opportunity for new perspectives and understanding to emerge. It is through this physical experience that viewers are also invited to examine their own unconscious states and motivations.
2019 Alfred University, Alfred, NY, MFA candidate 2020
2018 University of Memphis, Memphis, TN, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Studio Arts concentration in sculpture.
2019 Twice Removed, Wellsville, NY
Interdisciplinary, Turner Gallery, Alfred, NY
Enough: A Me Too Exhibition, Memphis College of Art, Memphis, TN
2018 MeToo, Marshall Arts Gallery, Memphis, TN
35th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, (Juror: Virginia Overton and Jocko Weyland) Art Museum at University of Memphis (AMUM), Memphis, TN
2017 34th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, AMUM, Memphis, TN
Idiopathic, 4:30 Gallery Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN
Local Talent, Marshall Arts Gallery, Memphis, TN
2016 Sexual Vegetables, 4:30 Gallery Crosstown Arts, Memphis, TN
2015 Do It, AMUM, Memphis, TN
Awards and Honors:
2018 Deans Creative Achievement Award, University of Memphis
2017 Membership Prize courtesy of The Metal Museum, (34th Annual Juried Student Exhibition, AMUM)
River Arts Festival Student Scholarship recipient
2017 Casting and Moldmaking with FroHawk 2 Feathers, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Jose Torres-Tama Performance Workshop, University of Memphis, Memphis,TN
2017 Presenter, NCUR 2017 Art History Division, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Denise Wakeman is an interdisciplinary artist originally from Memphis, TN and currently lives and works in rural NY. Wakeman’s artistic practice is highly intuitive and utilizes a wide variety of materials and processes. She is deeply interested in psychological phenomena, sexuality, gender, the body, and views her work as a way of processing and understanding emotion. She likes a good pun, campy horror flicks, anything sci-fi related, and rollerskating. Wakeman received her BFA from University of Memphis in 2018 and is now continuing her investigations at Alfred University pursing her MFA. Her future plans include teaching, traveling, and building an off-grid cabin.