Process and materials are essential elements of the mixed media work of Sharon Louise Barnes. By working through the challenges presented by the use of rough and salvaged materials, while applying enough sustained will to transform them into works of art, her practice signifies hope, struggle, and transformation.
Using industrial materials that might normally be held in a laborer's hands, as well as an array of discarded and found materials, her abstract works look outward into society, informed by questions about marginalization, the determination of value, and the potency of change.
A lifelong creative, Barnes started teaching herself to paint with oils in her early adolescence. She was later awakened to the expressive power of art when a professor in college, renowned artist Samella Lewis, exposed her to the visual artists of the Black Arts Movement. She counts those artists among her lasting influences, as well as many contemporary painters and sculptors who work in abstraction using unconventional materials.
Barnes lives and works in Los Angeles; and 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 at the historic Arco Chato in Panama City during her residency at Taller Portobello.