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  • Rhonda Barrett

Artist Statement - The 'Why' for my Creation

Over the last 5 years as an artist, I have rewritten my #artiststatement many times. Each time I feel I am getting closer and closer to the core of why I feel the need to create and what I am trying to share. This week I rewrote it again:

Influenced by a waste-not-want-not upbringing, I urge you to ‘make do’ with the newspapers I use to create fine art collages with a chigiri-e technique and wabi-sabi aesthetic. With the amount of trees cut daily to produce newspaper, it is my mission to elevate this lowly product, and the viewers appreciation of the earth’s natural resources, to match the stature of the trees by slowly layering little bits of paper into big art. My up-cycled art honours the death of the trees used to create it and celebrates life in all its forms. Find a tree to hug and listen to the heartbeat of the earth beneath its bark.


I have also recently fallen into the Group of Seven rabbit hole again. These artists attempted to capture on canvas the beauty of the Canadian landscape. Tom Thomson, a friend and inspiration to the #groupofseven members is also a huge inspiration for me at the moment.

Growing up, I feel I had a greater connection to the outdoors, and I could feel the life there within the trees. Like many of the artists in this group, I spent a lot of time in a boat, fishing, cooking on an open fire and sleeping in a cabin. Somehow, in my adult life, I have lost this connection. To be better at creating my art and speaking my truth, I need to work on recreating this relationship with nature. (Any log cabins for sale?)


This is the closest I have been in a long time to realizing my 'calling'. I know it's about respect for the earth, I know it's about using humble materials, and I know that it's not about being perfect or permanent. I'm getting close...


Happy #imbolc!


#artiststatement #tomthomson #outdoorlife #canadianart #Canada #papercollageart #wabisabi #chigirie





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