“Reality is a process undergoing constant transformation.” Pablo Freire
Sharon Louise Barnes is an inter-disciplinary mixed media artist who explores process and materials in the creation of meaning. Her paintings, sculptures and installations are layered with materials that can normally be found in a laborer’s hands, and things that had been lost, cast aside or broken down. Exploring Social Abstraction and visual mytho-poetry, these materials become metaphors about culture, class, gender, and the transformative potency of change.
Her alchemic practice draws references to African tribal arts, which uses materials and objects as a form of ‘magic’ to subdue the hostile forces in the world. She is frequently influenced by the written word, such as Audre Lorde’s “Black Unicorn” poems, Pablo Freire”s “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, and novelist Toni Morrison’s work in the genre of magical realism. “Through processes that alter the state of various materials, and then layers and entwines them into new realities,” says the artist, “I ponder our power to transmute the challenges confronting us and elevate our condition. I seek to instill empathy for all our struggles and inspire hope.”
Barnes is a fifth generation Californian descended from African American and Cape Verdean ancestors whose trials and triumphs inspire her. She has exhibited in galleries, universities, museums and art fairs, including group shows at the California African American Museum, the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Aqua Art Miami, the Los Angeles Tom Bradley Airport and a collaborative installation “Altares” at the historic Arco Chato in Panama City with artists Torkwase Dyson, Imna Arroyo, Oronike Odeleye and Tosha Grantham, during her residency at Taller Portobello in Panama..