The Five Points Annex Gallery Proudly Presents:
Lori Barker’s mixed media work blends nature and spirituality into an exploration of the rhythms of life. Angels, in particular, inspire her and are Lori’s trusted muse. The work is about the poetry that lives beneath the surface of things where layers of paper, paint, wood, fabric, metal and images come alive creating an altered world.
“This work is a reflection of me. When I am creating, I often feel frustrated until the materials begin to speak to me. At that time, it’s like I’m flying and lose track of time. I work with a collection of materials creating a unique conversation within each composition. Creativity allows me to crystallize my experience and tone the muscles of imagination.”
The artist’s life isn’t about taking it easy and making art whenever you want to. Hard work is required, and for that you must be devoted. Lori has devoted 50 years developing, learning and teaching techniques. “I’m truly doing the work I was meant to do, I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Ernie Barker's primary love was working with wood; its texture, color, and grain. He worked the wood in such a way as to allow the natural grain and colors to best define the human form contained within the log.
Each kind of wood has its own particular charm hidden within. Trees show principles of growth and strength of joints.
By understanding and being in sympathy with this material, so as not to force it beyond its natural constructive build; producing weakness; to know that sculpture in wood should look honestly like wood’ was Ernie's challenge.
To borrow the words of Henry Moore; whose body of work had been a great influence; "Sensitivity to sculpture is the appreciation of masses in their relation to one another. Ability in sculpture is the definition of these masses by means of planes." I hope I have done some justice in this realm of artistic effort. The female form, its vitality, organic richness of forms and masses, and life-giving potential has been my focus. The three-dimensional form, linking front to back, one influencing the other, creates special challenges not necessarily found in other art forms other than sculpture.
Ernie’s tables are free-form, slab-wood tables with uniquely designed legs and feet. Each piece is a one of a kind work of art. Spalting and the wood's grain create wonderful visual effects. Worm holes and splits (some filled others open), bark edges and knots enhance each piece. A clear polyurethane finish allows the grain and other details to make their visual statement.
In March I discovered a small press in my studio. It had been purchased several years before but there never seemed to be the time to explore its uses. Now I had nothing but time. Monoprints and etchings pushed the little machine to its limit. Spring came and nature began to blossom. I stumbled upon a printing method that was a derivation of a Japanese technique using my press and the flowers in my garden. This became an obsession. No flower or leaf was safe from the flower/print factory dominating my workspace. The perimeters of the petals, fronds, blades of grass, etc. were reestablished and carefully cut out. Bouquets and fields were then collaged on sheets of watercolor paper.
Since the images are mostly viewed from one perspective (full on - no side views) with no shadows or highlights, there is a feeling of realty and fantasy at the same time. One expects to see small animals peeking from behind the foliage. The arrangements seem to be settings for strange fairy tales.
It is a joy to work with nature. There are no clashing colors or awkward shapes or sizes. Walk through a wildflower meadow or pick a random bouquet and observe the beauty of it all. These compositions were uplifting to create. I hope they are uplifting to view as well.
Form truly does follow function, but in that transition elegance of design is often a by- product. Engineering - good engineering - pares away everything that does not contribute to the required goal. What remains represents the best thinking of the individual or team responsible for that machine or component in accomplishing the most with the least.
Inspecting a brass gear designed and built 100 years ago it is important to understand that the number of spokes, their length, their width, the way that they taper are all the result of careful consideration, planning, and manufacturing skills. Everything that does not contribute to the requirements of that item’s operation is removed. All that remains is the essence of the gear.
Art is sometimes contrived, but sound engineering is not. We are today too often blind to the artistic purity of mechanics. With my lamps I work to celebrate this purity and honesty of materials, components, and proper engineering techniques.
If it is true that “The devil is in the details” . . . he would likely be comfortable living in these lamps.