Sharon Louise Barnes
In recent years Barnes became absorbed with working from an interdisciplinary perspective using rough, salvaged, and industrial materials. In her own words "There's a deeply soulful aspect about making meaning out of things that have been rough. I am inspired by the idea that the reality of rough circumstances can be transformed through the challenges that are presented by them. By choosing the often rigorous processes of working with rough and disparate materials, my art is informed by metaphors of hope, struggle and transformation, frequently visiting themes of social justice and the politics of race and women. "
Her series of sculptural works and hybrid paintings using industrial tar paper, for example, hearkens back to the racially loaded and disparaging term, "tar baby," which she then re-owns by flipping the term. Her artworks thus become the rebuttal to this disparagement, messaging beauty, poetry and providing a platform for social commentary. Transformation and the power of owing one's own definitions are themes she is exploring in her recent body of work.