Renae Barnard is interested in exploring the network of interactions between perception, time, and the inadequacy of language. Much of her work grapples with what progress means, including changes in our environment, as well as changes in equality for women, LGBTQ people, and people of color. Barnard tries to propagate her own visions of “progress” by enabling others to connect and contribute to a collective commitment of kindness and compassion.
At times language cannot adequately express the intricacies of our thoughts and desires. Artist Renae Barnard explore the poetics of materiality through handmade objects and ephemeral installations. Working with a range of fabrics and reclaimed materials such as blankets, jute and hemp rope, medical bed paper, rags, ribbon and lace scrap, Barnard’s compositions make a connection between materiality, perception, and time.
Indulging in the pleasure and tactility of making, these folded, twisted, and sewn objects are both destroyed by and reinforced with the repetitive gestures by which they are made. 'Many of my sculptures are worked within inches of collapse and reflect my attraction to the imperfect and the aged' says Barnard. The time consuming and ritualistic processes of braiding, weaving, stitching and hand-dying textiles highlights the delicacy and transience of the material. 'Why are attributes like softness and delicacy deemed “feminine”? And why are such qualities considered indicators of weakness?' These are just a few of the questions surrounding Barnard’s artwork.
Creating a material language to explore these nuanced precepts, Barnard combines her hand-made craft technique with elements of playful divergence and social commentary. 'I allow myself the sensitivity to make work that reveals both wounds and strengths, wrangling material out of an emotional response to feelings of tension. And so, my reason for making art is so that they might speak in my place, referencing issues that are uncomfortable and difficult to express in words.'
Selvedge is a magazine that acknowledges the significance of textiles as a part of everyone’s story. We are surrounded by cloth from the cradle to the grave and by exploring our universal emotional connection to fibre we share the stories and values that mean the most to us.
Featuring exhibitions, people, adventures and opinion, the blog is a meeting point for the Selvedge community and an entry point into the world of textiles for those looking for an original and broadening perspective.
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