PATRICIA BAREFOOT

ARTIST'S STATEMENT
In my art work, I use my technical skill and training to explore women’s societal roles and stereotypes throughout history.  I take on an age-old subject, speculating about what it means and has meant to live out one’s life in a female body. Although my work has taken various forms, including large-scale drawings, painting is the primary method that I have currently been using, probably because it speaks a universal language and evokes a common response.  Paint creates a pleasing aesthetic, so that the concept is more accessible to the viewer—the darker undertones, easier to grasp—to relate to—more captivating. The little gouache studies in this particular series, Body Renderings, describe how women occupy space, as well as their bodies.  Interior/Exterior deals with the over extension of women in domestic and exterior spaces, the holding on to nature (tree branch) in a false state of comfort. We can see the tension between the outside and inside, but she cannot.  Distortion deals with the investigation of self, the taking apart and analysis of self and soul.  I would like to think, also, that it represents a more universal woman theme embodying the inspection of women’s parts and subsequent scrutiny.  Here, too, is the pulling and over extension, the distortion of women’s bodies to themselves and to others.  In Fragmentation, the shelf has been pulled and segmented within a cyclonic sphere, which could be a mirror, or it could be the world.  Therein is a separation of the self again, a juxtaposition of the real and the ideal.