Barbara Jo

I observe nature closely and take from it what I want: key elements and referential shapes, forms, textures, movements, and concepts. Nature seems grounded in perfection and logic, but upon closer scrutiny its imperfections and illogic pervade. It is these inconsistencies that I enjoy - as if the creator is showing us “the hand of the artist” in its most basic form. 
 
There is an underlying hum of life and movement to nature.  It is this beat, this thrum, this excitement that I try to access and express in my work.  I work intuitively and spontaneously, endeavoring to capture this elusive, energetic force and achieve a look that has the freshness of a sketch.  I do not copy nature but seek its abstract equivalent in our contemporary world. In this age of virtual everything, there is a need to reconnect to the wonder of nature.
 
There is a Japanese word, “wabisabi”, that means “the beauty of imperfection” and applies to my work. Perfection, symmetry, and exceptionally beautiful materials are not what I do.
 
The materials that I choose are varied, ordinary and even ugly: the natural and industrial materials of today. I choose materials for their colors, textures and innate qualities and disregard their intended usage or context. There are no rules for materials and I use them with complete freedom. The idea of choosing a material solely for its beauty, which then becomes the whole of the sculpture, is unacceptable to me. 
 
Scale is important in my work. Large scale creates a presence that cannot be denied.  Human proportion is the most intimate scale.
 
Presentation must include the viewer and creating a mental and physical dialog with the viewer is my goal. Pieces on the floor, leaned against a wall, or suspended from the ceiling, with tactile surfaces that invite touch, become an evocative, provocative part of the viewer’s world. I hope to provide a link to universal consciousness. 
 
I am a fearless explorer and risk-taker and I want to bring viewers with me to an exciting new place.