The series of collage works, Foundations and Fragments uses documents, photographs, letters, and books, that belonged to my family. It includes visual and typographical motifs from identity papers and bureaucratic decrees. These materials evidence the change from life in settled security to the imposition and ordeals of state bureaucracy and the traumas of refugee status. The work is grounded in the story of European Jewry in the period of the Third Reich, although it refers more widely to how, even today, racism globally continues to transform innocent people into refugees.
'It is not the use of fragments from family letters that is the most memorable feature of Ralph Freeman’s work, but the leitmotif of the envelope – an evocative form which simultaneously expresses plenitude and emptiness, irrepressible longing and irretrievable loss.'
Tate St Ives, Freud Museum London, Gardner Arts Centre University of Sussex, Sternberg Centre London, New Millennium Gallery St Ives.