Artist: Sara Barker
Venue: Mary Mary, Glasgow
Exhibition Title: Images
Date: June 5 – July 31, 2010
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Mary Mary, Glasgow
Beginning with literary conceptions of a ‘room’ Barker explores constructs of a working and living space in relation to her own process of making. Central is the room as an abstract notion on which to hang an interior state and render a subjective condition, with the work employing both romantic conceptions of a room from poetry and short stories, alongside biographical writing, particularly modernist and imagist, including texts by Virginia Woolf, Doris Lessing and May Sarton.
The routine and repetition found in Barker’s making applies a formal structure to the work which is reflective of a condition that foregoes representation for individual perception, memory and fiction and although particularities are evoked, the influences on the work are evershifting, entering the making process in an organic way. The work is drawn and collaged from ‘Images,’ perhaps as Barker describes, mediated through a reflection in water, an old photograph or a memory. The perceptions of both Barker and that of the authors rather than the real are employed and lead to the blurring, dissolving of line, softness and faded colour found in the work and is suggestive of this ‘doubtful’ reflected image and similarly, of failed attempts recorded in the making and of the materials used.
Character is explored and the relationship the author has to them and more deeply, exploring the authors’ own perspective in life and the creative process, and of particular interest for Barker here, their need for aloneness and isolation in a space in order to reflect, understand and gain control of themselves and what they make. It is this analysis into self understanding through the making process that is a continous central theme within her practice.
Forms are fragmented and repeated, their sparse linearity concerned with presenting different versions of themselves, coming into being through a steam of consciousness. Describing her sculptural works in one sense as “multiple spatial drawings/formal compositions/variations,” Barker seeks to take the works beyond the particular, to a point of autonomy with current works seeming to stretch materials to a point of fragility and instability. There is a clear interest in materiality and a visceral intensity in creating surface through process, creating pattern in the detail and at once ‘blowing up’ motif to an abstract sculptural outline.
The works here also act as frameworks and having a direct link to drawing, they frame space offering viewpoints through doorways, openings, from exterior to interior, collaging the viewer into the work. Within this the larger sculptural works seem to move through space, close to a figurative presence, their scale encompassing the body. Barker seeks to create here more intimate spaces within the gallery, whilst making the work more physical in terms of their larger scale so the activity in the surface becomes more present, drawn, active and vigorous.
Link: Sara Barker at Mary Mary