Barbara Burns’ Statement
The tactile experience of working with fiber, along with the richness of the woven surface excites and drives me. My work is also driven by my fascination with the human face and form, in part because I grew up surrounded by my mother’s collection of masks and sculpture.
My Russian Grandmother taught me to sew at an early age. She instilled in me, a love of creating with my hands and an appreciation for good cloth. The medium of tapestry allows me to create an image in a cloth with a depth of color and texture I feel I can achieve no other way.
I find the dichotomy of the ancient medium of tapestry expressing contemporary subjects a powerful and satisfying tool. In my work, I use this dichotomy to make a statement that, I hope leads the viewer to question traditional conventions.
Barbara Burn’s Biography
Barbara Burns is a figurative artist working in the medium of tapestry. Burns’ early work focused on faces. As her career has progressed, more of the figure has come into view. Burns has been weaving since 1994 switching to tapestry in 2003 when she began an 11 year mentorship with world renowned tapestry artists Archie Brennan and Susan Martin-Maffei. This was a rare opportunity to study with two people who understand tapestry from both a historical and contemporary context, with the skill to impart their knowledge. In 2005 she studied tapestry at West Dean College in England.
On both a national and international platform Burns has exhibited extensively in solo and group shows, received many awards for her tapestries, lectured, curated and juried exhibits and written for textile publications.
Burns studied costume and textile conservation in The Fashion Institute of Technology Graduate Program and attended the New York School for Interior Design. For several years she was the head of the Costume and Textile Department at the Pascack Historical Museum in New Jersey where she was able to indulge in her other passion, historical costume and textiles.