Barbara Burns’ Statement
I grew up surrounded by my mother’s collection of tribal masks and sculpture. I loved that each one was expressive, mysterious and primal. This led to my fascination with faces and my desire to portray people who are historically or personally compelling. When I am designing a tapestry of a person I spend time reading about them. Subconsciously some of what I learn comes through to the tapestry. This may show in color, design, size or composition. Sometimes I choose my subject for the sheer pleasure of weaving. Darwin was woven to portray my cat. Cowgirl is a self portrait. The inspiration came from a photograph taken in costume at a dance performance.
I find the dichotomy of the ancient medium of tapestry used to express contemporary subjects a powerful tool. In my work, my goal is often to make a statement that leaves the viewer with a question. In Temptation my inspiration came from the controversies within sexual identity. Issues of individuality and perceptions of the concepts such as innocence, enlightenment and liberation were on my mind.
Barbara Burn’s Biography
I have been working with textiles since my grandmother first taught me to sew when I was quite young. I began weaving in 1992 after studying Interior Design and Textile and costume conservation.
In 2003 I took my first tapestry workshops. I have studied with several excellent teachers including Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie, Archie Brennan and Susan Martin-Maffei as a long standing member of The Wednesday Group, Marcelle Marois and Pat Taylor at West Dean College in England.
I teach and lecture about tapestry, am a member of The British Tapestry Group, The Canadian Tapestry Network and Tapestry Weavers in New England. I have exhibited in the US and abroad and won several awards. I live Maine, weaving, spinning, and enjoying life.