Barbara Berry

Artist Statement

Artist Statement

Barbara Berry

Over the years, my art has explored themes of impermanence, memory, change, healing, rebirth, regeneration, dreams, loss and death. I attempt to express the momentary shifts in our lives and demonstrate the constant ongoing dance in which all living beings are involved. Ultimately, my paintings are an attempt to reconcile and connect the physical world with the spiritual world. My work explores the pure physical act of sight and the visionary quality of going beyond the sense perceptions into the realm of imagination and visualization.

Nature has always been an important subject and inspiration in my art. It enables me to express the vivid, living quality of the natural world, as well as highlight the innate connections and tensions that exist between human beings and the larger environment. My artwork combines imagery from nature (animals, plants, birds, the human figure and human anatomy) with imagery from Tibetan Buddhist murals and scroll paintings (thangkas). Some of the works are based directly on the lives of Buddhist saints. Other works are inspired by various deities in the Tibetan pantheon, some peaceful some wrathful. I am particularly interested in female saints, deities and goddesses called dakinis. The dakini is also related to broader creative and destructive energies of nature and the universe.

My large paintings are wooden constructions that hang on the wall, yet have three-dimensional aspects, which move off the surface of the work. These works are assembled in pieces, like a child’s jigsaw puzzle, yet when put together create a dynamic whole with references both to the history of representational and illusionistic painting and to the physical presence of object and form in sculpture. Within one painting, forms interpenetrate, arise and dissolve, overlap, mutate and separate. Carved and sculptural elements surface and become flat. Flat painted elements pretend to possess dimension. The paintings project a vibrant and energetic sense that things arise and dissolve, again and again, in our daily experience and on a vast cosmic level as well.

© Copyright 2013, Barbara Berry, All Rights Reserved
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