BARBARA GARBER

ARTIST STATEMENT
I spend a lot of time in my studio deeply involved with a particular material, often industrial. Over the years I’ve worked with photographic backdrop paper, screening, aluminum rods, plastic tubing and chalkline. The process of coming up with ways to
transform these materials gets me going. Right now I'm in love with Grafix (drafting film). I exploit the material, using its translucence to layer shapes, lines, and textures that move over and under each other, creating a space that feels both concrete and ambiguous to me.
At the beginning of a piece I like to keep things moving. I generate piles of paper: mono-prints, small abstract sketches and laser prints. I rework these by cutting, pasting, and more drawing. The action of combining parts of one piece with another piece both
absorbs and excites me.
Now the mood becomes more meditative. I hone in on a line, a fold, or a shape, as certain sketches whisper or point the way. Eventually, I take 8 to 10 of the most engaging pieces down to an engineering press to be scanned and enlarged onto big sheets of Grafix (up to 36”x 60”). Suddenly, the smaller pieces grow up. The change of scale is dramatic. The transformation is jarring, revolutionizing everything I saw before.
Back in the studio the large sheets become elements for my wall constructions. I kneel on the floor or stand up and work on the wall, I move around a lot, keeping it light and flexible. I shift pieces from here to there, I make a mess, pieces fall off the wall and suddenly I see an intriguing interaction.
Intense activity stirs things up, adds to the complexity of the final piece. Using scissors and glue, and washes of colored inks, I reconfigure the scanned raw images, making connections on multiple physical and intuitive levels.
I relish the inspiration and freshness that arrives with different kinds of collaboration, and the challenge of transforming an architectural space with my work on the wall. Machines, people, new spaces, and materials all add to the mix. So if the person scanning my piece makes it too dark, or crooked, or scans only half the piece…I look at it and say…hmmm…and have to let go of whatever expectations I’ve brought with me, acknowledging how much the unexpected motivates and enriches my work.


www.barbaragarber.com

CV


PAST GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
Wish you were here, 2015