My on-going interest in the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi, finding beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete is at the core of all of my art work. I like to capture the essence of images made of light and movement, images that are infinitely variable. What does the eye see? What does the camera see? What does the mind see?
The Reflections series explores the concept of reflection and how to capture the images that are not physically there, images made of light and movement, images that change.
The Leaves series is an exploration and interpretation of natural images by enlarging and reshaping them. I collect leaves, pods, flowers, grasses and look closely at their structure and shape. In particular, I like to collect these natural objects at the end of summer when they have begun to wither and fragment. Looking at them closely and then enlarging them allows me to see them as sculptural objects. I look at the play of light upon surfaces, and shaping the pieces introduces a new element – light and shadow interacting with the undulating surfaces.
The Line Dance: Tree Ring Patterns series is an extension of this exploration of natural objects. Looking at the patterns in the tree rings and then the additional patterns created by overlapping and fragmenting the imagery allows me to see things in new ways.
Still Lifes in Indigo: Exploring the Wabi-Sabi Spirit circles back to the use of some of my old Japanese boro fabrics as backgrounds to create settings for objects that contain a wabi-sabi spirit in them. They are explorations of texture, color and form.
Beautiful Faces: Thread Paintings Exploring the Imperfect is an exhibit of thread paintings that explore the beauty of the face in found photos of antique statuary. My ongoing interest in the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi has informed my work over many years. These pieces explore the beauty of faces that are weathered, old and imperfect. They contain a Wabi-Sabi spirit. They are explorations of texture, color and form. They began with photos of the sculptures and were translated by free motion stitching/embroidery into textile with depth, color and inviting surfaces.
In the end, all of these series are about reflection – whether physical, mental or emotional. It is what I do throughout my work process as well as what I hope viewers do as they look at the completed work.
Profile: Barbara Schneider
Barbara Schneider is an artist that uses nature as the starting point for creating abstract, sophisticated interpretations in mixed media. Her work is meant to make you view nature with new eyes.
Barbara Schneider began quilting in 1996 and discovered the pleasure of working with cloth, paint, dye, and thread. Her interest in the Japanese concept of Wabi-Sabi strongly influences the work. She has an extensive background in surface design and teach as well as exhibits nationally and internationally. Her artwork is in both private and public collections.
Located at The Starline Gallery 205H
400 Front St. Harvard, IL 60033