Sharon Louise Barnes
Process & Materials
A Solo Exhibition
6 July – 4 August 2018
Process & Materials, the new solo exhibition by artist Sharon Louise Barnes. Featuring over a dozen new abstract sculptures and multimedia works on canvas, the salvaged objects that comprise this new body of work become Barnes’ vehicle to explore the subjects of marginalization, social class and willpower, while the process of creating them connects her to her heritage as an African American.
Process and materials are essential elements of any artists’ practice, whether that be painting on canvas or creating sculpture. Over the course of her creative career, which has included everything from music to visual art, Barnes has turned the creation of her sculptures into an alchemical practice that allows her to find hope and transformation in the struggle to work with rough and salvaged materials.
“By using industrial materials that might normally be held in a laborer’s hands, as well as an array of discarded materials that can be found on city streets, my abstract works are both conceptual and aesthetic,” explains Barnes. “They look outward into society, opening dialogs about marginalization, about how we determine value, and the potency of change. They also speak to my African American heritage where people built something from very little or nothing, and demonstrated the power to transform one’s condition through the exercise of will.”
The recurring motif of cloud and tree-like formations made of interwoven strips of roofing paper appears in suspended sculpture pieces like “She Wove Constellations Through Her Dreadlocks” and “Humming in the Night.” “Viewpoints: A Verité” juxtapose found photo transfers with abstract acrylic and mixed media backgrounds. The visceral works are a coalescence of passions she’s been exploring as an artist for almost two decades.
“On this creative path, nothing has been more remarkable in my memory than when my fifth grade teacher gave me the tools of perspective drawing to create the illusion of reality, or when my African American Art History professor, renowned artist Dr. Samella Lewis, exposed me to the visual artists of the Black Arts Movement,” says Barnes. “These instances truly changed my life because they brought me to understand both the sheer magic of art and its unrestrained power to communicate.”