Photograph of Julia Whitney Barnes  by Sean Hemmerle

Photograph of Julia Whitney Barnes  by Sean Hemmerle

ARTIST'S STATEMENT

 

A variety of source images are conjoined into unusual landscapes and spaces. My work is a hybrid mixture of interiors, exteriors, realities and fictions. The resulting works combine my drawings and photographs from actual travels along with imagery from places I long to visit, nearby areas and other imagined scenes. I work in the style of many Hudson River School artists who created composite paintings based on sketches from several days and locations distilled into a single image.

"Bricks and Stones May Break," comes from my fascination with the history of these structures. Though our past has spawned many building technologies, our most enduring structures were crafted from brick and stone. Living in Brooklyn, it was an almost daily event that I saw these edifices demolished, disassembled into piles that are gathered and carted off to points unknown. I started collecting bricks from destroyed buildings and defunct brickyards. One day I may again make something meaningful with them. Most of the bricks were created from Hudson River clay and are stamped with the name of the brickyard.

After two decades of living in the East Village and Brooklyn, I followed these bricks back to their source along the Hudson and relocated to an Arts & Crafts home in Poughkeepsie, NY that I share with my photographer husband and young daughter Magnolia. I converted our attic into my current studio, complete with custom painted wood floors and sloped walls. The space is a strong contrast to the industrial former-factory studios I had in Brooklyn. Symbolic objects, flora and the domestic spaces of my own and neighbors' homes populate my current work, in addition to imagery from past travels.