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 is informed by metaphors of hope, struggle and transformation.
Her work often expands into the rougher edges of beauty while providing a platform for dialogue on social and political concerns. She is interested in exploring the implications of rough and fine, conceptual and aesthetic, high and low, using a diversity of art forms and placing emphasis on materiality as a metaphor.
Barnes started teaching herself to paint with oils in her early adolescence. She was later awakened to the expressive power of art when her art professor in college, Dr. Samella Lewis, exposed her to the visual artists of the Black Arts Movement. She counts these artists among her lasting influences, as well as many modernist and post-modernist painters and sculptors. She currently admires many contemporary artists who use alternative materials in their work.
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.