Artist Statement

My artwork is very connected to my emotional state...it always has been.  I don't remember a time when I didn't make art.  Very often, I'll be working on a series and I don't really understand it until I've passed out of the period of my life that the work is reflecting, it's almost a subconscious flow.  Other times I can see the work as a direct channel for what I'm feeling, it's very much a conscious stream.  Some work lasts only months and I've "worked" that emotion, that moment in my life, out of my system. Other work represents a more encompassing scope of events and emotions and it stays with me for years, transforming and reemerging. 

This work, "Sticking the Middle" is definitely the latter.  This series has been with me in some form or another for several years, starting as a poem in 2000.  It quickly began to turn into images, and it's first incarnation had a much more subjective look to it, it was easy to see the bottles and the patterns of water, the color was very much realistic and the photographs were more self-contained, the series hadn't "bonded" yet. 

After spending time with that series, I realized that it was just the beginning of what was coming out here, so I gave it the time it demanded and it eventually turned into watercolor painting.  I took the actual bottles that were in the photographs and began stamping the round shape onto a watercolor painting that had this really soft flowing but intense color.   I had reached the other end of this emotional period and where I needed to be both in my life and in this body of work was somewhere in between. 

That is what you see here in this final incarnation of "Sticking the Middle," the middle road between the photographs and paintings, united by the poetry.  I guess that you could say that the photographs won, as that is the final medium, but I like to see it as all three finally in agreement...we've all found a better place.  I think these photographs have the subtle, blended color that the painting captured and kept the element of "subject" and light that the photographs held.  The poem, well that's subversive. It's there in the emotion the pieces represent, as well as the titles. 



 

All images ©Jennie Barrese.  All rights reserved.