I work in multiple mediums with little allegiance to specific subject matter, though my bodies of work are conceptually and aesthetically connected. While disassembling and reorganizing the visual information and materials at hand, I investigate themes of containment and confinement, the directed viewpoint, and the protective or aversive shielding of precious internal information.
My work involves real and vigorous physical action: scraping, erasing, stitching, nailing, welding. I often scrub and scratch and otherwise mar the surface in order to bring out an “object-ness” in each piece. Active line in all mediums asserts the fundamental importance of drawing. Working in one medium feeds the progression of ideas in another.
I get a sense that this object—this painting or sculpture or drawing—is both familiar to me and unknowable at the same time. It excites the periphery of my consciousness, in that place where logic, emotion and instinct collide. I like this ambiguity; it invites the viewer to actively complete the piece by finding personal meaning in it. —Barbara Downs