warp- and weft-

2015
Brass rods, Bespoke lightweight honeycomb composite form, Grp polyester resin composite (to form scaled japanese 'paper' panels, ) birch plywood
390 x 240 x 500 cm
Edition of 1

In this assemblage of forms Barker combines numerous unexpected textures including a hand-painted landscape on steel, honeycombed resin, brass, wood and the lacquer finish used on traditional Japanese boxes. Illustrative of the artist’s enduring interest in post-minimalist treatment of materials, warp- and weft- creates a tapestry of light and shadow and examines elements that influence our understanding of aesthetics, material, language and objects. warp- and weft- challenges the boundaries between sculpture and painting, distributing equal significance to surface and structure. The work was informed by Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows, a 1933 essay on Japanese aesthetics that commends all that is delicate, nuanced and natural in the world and suggests a state of mindfulness to beauty as being imperative to a rounded life. Central to Tanizaki’s treatise is the importance of light and shadow. Barker’s composition balances varying forms and materials, in order to create an ethereal interplay between the elements and their silhouettes. The ribbons of wood, coated in the evocative black of the lacquer box finish, have a figurative presence within the structure, capturing the directional lines of driving rain, calligraphy, and even the sweep of a kimono. Delicate and yet extremely present, warp- and weft- strikes up a relationship with the viewer in which one is invited to investigate the unique interplay between materials and forms.

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About The Artist

Sara Barker’s exceptionally fine compositions incorporate metal, wood, paint and glass. Typically, her works are composed of irregular beams and poles that form approximations of overlapping rectilinear structures, often with sheets of glass intercepting the open spaces left between the metal and wood. Professing her desire to grasp the impossibility and spontaneity of drawing through sculpture, Barkers work evokes ‘that top-heaviness and precariousness’ of sketching in three-dimensional form. As such, her combinations of bespoke materials challenge traditional perceptions of structural solidity, the lightest often providing the weightiest support for the basis of the sculpture.

Barker’s conceptually intricate work is inspired by late-Victorian and modernist literature such as Virginia Woolf and Ezra Pound, and artists including Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois and Henri Matisse. Barker applies oil, gouache and watercolour to aluminium and steel in soft pastel shades in order to 'activate' her chosen materials and provide liminal streaks of colour that she describes as ‘cracks in a door’ or glimpses into another realm. Her sculptures are completed by the spaces in which they are installed by implementing the negative space around them; resulting in abstract, powerful and dream-like sequences of materials.

‘warp- and weft-’ is currently on display

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Sara Barker

Born: 1980