Using waste material that is often untidy and muddled in appearance and redeeming it into a carefully crafted object is a pleasurable part of my process, altering prior cast-offs into something of value and beauty, an act of optimism.
I have been collecting and working with discarded objects and material from waste streams for the past 20 years. Wood lath, from lath and plaster walls of pre-war era homes has captured my attention for realizing new forms and creating large-scale installations. These works are not born from an intellectual or conceptual standpoint, but rather an instinctual and intuitive response to material. From the outset, I have set the simple parameter of using the discards in their found state. No cuts or alterations are made, they are simply gathered and cleaned, old nails and staples pulled. My intent is to allow these reclaimed materials to retain their intrinsic qualities while giving them new context in form. The accidental fractures, painted patterning, and patinas of age are a part of their draw, giving a subtle account of natural wear and human interventions over time.
Barbara Holmes was born and raised in Southern California. She attended Brigham Young University for her undergraduate studies and did her graduate work at San Diego State University where she received her MFA. Barbara has exhibited nationally and internationally, is a Sam & Alfreda Maloof scholarship recipient, and has been awarded art residencies at Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Capital City Arts Initiative, Facebook, I-Park, Penland School of Crafts and Recology. Her artwork often utilizes material reclaimed from the waste stream, transforming seemingly untidy material into carefully crafted forms and site-specific installations. She has been commissioned for projects at Facebook Headquarters, for collectors Laura and Gary Lauder and has work in the permanent collections at San Francisco Museum of Art (SFMOMA) and Recology (et al.). Barbara has extensive experience in museum display and exhibitions as a lead carpenter and preparator working in renowned institutions such as the San Diego Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Oakland Museum of California. She has taught art and design for over 20 years; as a visiting lecturer at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, and currently as an Associate Professor and Director of the Art Gallery within the Art Department at Saddleback College.