WHO IS RHONDA?
My art is about asking the question. ‘What is valuable?’
I use a mixture of reclaimed newsprint and low worth papers in creating my images to challenge the viewer into considering how an item of perceived low value, used in a new way, can be turned into something significant. As an artist, it is also my role to move people into thinking and acting in new ways through my imagery. My subject matter changes depending on my own personal desire to share an opinion or piece of myself. I have tackled topics such as climate change, feminism, minimalism, and appreciation for our planet through my art. I aim to foster an introverted conversation in the public about what is valuable and why? What social norms have been accepted in the declaration of ‘value’? Are only tangible items valuable?
If I am questioning whether something has been given too much or not enough value, I explore it while attaching tiny pieces of paper to a canvas to create an image that can then be explored by a viewer. My work therefore can range from landscapes I appreciate, to portraits of people whose contributions I value. Conversely, it may also include landscapes that disgust me and people and objects that do not align with my values. In this way, I explore deeply what is valuable to me while prompting others to do the same.
My work is about using the mundane worthless paper we flick through each day to stay up to date, and giving it life as something we will appreciate for more than the length of time it takes to read your horoscope. It's about taking the dispensable paper of the world and creating something indispensable. It is about our under appreciation of resources and our consumerism. It’s about greed and the need to make something from nothing.
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Partial Artist Bio
Rhonda Barrett is an artist from Newfoundland, currently living in Nova Scotia, whose study of paper and Japanese arts finds her working in a chigiri-e style with newsprint. The waste-not-want-not attitude and nostalgia of her maritime upbringing is paramount in her choice of medium and also informs many of the images she captures. The use of newspaper as her primary medium is a nod to the temporal arts and our ideas of material value. She works out of her studio in Halifax, NS.
She is currently a member of Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS), Canadian Artists Representation (CARFAC), and The Paper Artist Collective (UK). Her work has been seen in solo exhibitions and group exhibitions in numerous galleries in Nova Scotia, Vancouver, BC and Montreal, QC. She has been featured in the Metro Star, Chronicle Herald, The Coast Magazine and on Global Halifax News Morning.
Little bits of paper; BIG art! 3115 Veith Street, Suite 304, Halifax, NS