ON PATTERN: Patterns make bold statements, and color can be intensely powerful. They both retain a beautiful ability to stir-up emotions, draw attention, and connect people. As a mixed-media artist, I use pattern and color to transform any surface using marks and motifs that evoke memories from the past. It was early childhood trips to the Caribbean and then extensive travels through Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe, which gave me reverence for the repetition of color and patterns. I now use them in my work intuitively.
ON CLAY: My art pays homage to my ancestors. From the local potter and textile weaver to the woodcarver, a dedication to both craft and purpose kept cultural traditions alive and created legacies that continually drive me to push storytelling through my works in clay. My connection to clay is a spiritual one. Unlike other mediums I’ve used in the past, clay carries flexibility in both surface and form, leaving traces of fingerprints to follow the making-process.
— Malene Barnett