I make art and write poetry. My art is usually mixed media. I like to draw and paint on top of screen prints. A few years ago I picked up a pair of scissors and found my niche in collage. I love to cut stuff up and reassemble it into something else in which the whole expresses or suggests more than the parts did on their own. I discovered that there was a strong connection between poetry and collage.
When a poet juxtaposes unexpected language something new is created. Sometimes an insight into the relatability of images not usually associated with each other opens into a fresh insight and appreciation.
This approach to the creative life keeps my eyes open. I am always looking for an image in language or pictures that could become a symbol or metaphor for something else, if it were placed in an unexpected relationship. I often find my art’s ingredients in the works of others: magazines, books, brochures, newspapers, old photos . . . The challenge is to extract and modify the finding into a new piece. I am grateful to those who provide the snippets and scraps which become my building blocks.
In my studio there are about twenty works in progress. Sometimes I see a piece of something that I just know will belong somewhere but I don’t know where yet. I cut things out, sort and store them by categories and wait to find those images’ kindred spirits. The poet and collagist creatively assembles. There is a lovely freedom in allowing yourself time. When I make art or write I know that I don’t need to finish right away. In fact I may lose richness in the rush to complete.
Pat Barnes is a native Detroiter with a solid appreciation of the city’s lively communities of artists, writers, storytellers, puppeteers and musicians. As a writer, she is an active member of Springfed Arts, The Poetry Society of Michigan and Downriver Poets and Playwrights. Her artwork has been displayed at Art Ambience, The Downriver Council for the Arts, Alpha Art Gallery, River’s Edge Gallery, and Swords into Plowshares. Her poetry has won first place in contests sponsored by: Word and Sound International, Poetry Society of Michigan, Arizona Poetry Society, Illinois State Poetry Society, Ohio Poetry Society and the Midwest Conference of Writers. She has produced two chapbooks: Alucinor and A Village of Acrobats.
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