Adriana Barrios & Barbara Justice
An exhibition of experimental prints and photographs
54 1/2 E. San Francisco St. #7
August 19-October 1, 2017
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 19, 6-9 pm
Special Reception | Readings from Here Nor There: Friday, September 22, 7-9 pm
Like many early career artists, Barbara Justice and Adriana Barrios have blazed a trail with quite a few switchbacks. Since meeting at the University of Texas-San Antonio, they’ve lived in far-flung places, from Santa Fe, New Mexico to Madison, Wisconsin and Florence, Italy. This summer, Justice and Barrios return to New Mexico for a show of experimental prints and photographs. Both artists reflect on presence and displacement, competing forces that they must contend with as emerging artists. Here Nor There opens at No Land, Strangers Collective’s art space, on Saturday, August 19th from 6-9 pm. A special reception hosted by Katie Johnson and featuring readings from nine local writers will take place on Friday, September 22 from 7-9 pm. Featured writers include Austin Eichelberger, Melinda Freudenberger, Juro Gagne, Steffen D. Garcia, Bucket Siler, Stephanie Thompson, Michael J. Wilson, and Marina Woollven. Here Nor There is on view through Sunday, October 1st.
Justice and Adriana Barrios are used to creating and exhibiting artwork together – this is their fourth duo show, and they have been a couple for almost ten years. They were married in Santa Fe last July. While studying art for their undergraduate degrees, they were involved in San Antonio’s art community, even running a gallery together for four years in a downtown 1,100-square-foot warehouse. “It was an exhibition space, studio space, and also our living space,” Justice says. Somehow they found the time to put on a new exhibition every month. But as the rent went up, and the area became more and more gentrified, they decided to move to New Mexico – Justice is from Las Cruces – and they settled in Santa Fe for three years in an attempt to focus on their own artwork (this was from 2012-2015). Since then, they both completed seven-month artist residencies in Italy, and Barrios was accepted into the MFA program at University of Wisconsin-Madison, which led them to their current location up north.
Currently pursuing her MFA in printmaking, Barrios’s artwork in Here Nor There combines landscape-based cyanotype photography with patterns of intaglio-printed signs and symbols that play with repetition, variation, and layering. She began creating her ethereal images several years ago while she was completing her artist residency in Italy. “I was pulling out aspects of the landscape and trying to highlight others,” she says. “I’m interested in the lack of relationship that we have with the world around us, and looking at the way that this affects us all.” These one-of-a-kind prints are the result of a complex process that involves drawing, printmaking and photography, through techniques that span the historical and the cutting-edge. “Printmaking continues to change with technology,” Barrios says. “In that sense, past and present are always right there in the studio with you.”
Justice is a photographer, and her large-format work in Here Nor There plays with double-exposed film. In her photographs, nature-based imagery is juxtaposed with what she calls ‘visual landmarks’ – momentary glimpses within her current urban setting that register to her as extraordinary. Her time living in Madison has at times consisted simply of a search for the space and quiet that she remembers as being so bountiful in New Mexico: “It’s the space,” she says. “Where I am now, I can’t just go out to a desert where there’s nobody else around.” Fittingly, when she goes out on a film shoot, she makes sure to do it in the early mornings, when it’s just her and the landscape. Even though her vividly colored double-exposures evoke a sense of overlap between two simultaneous realities, they also serve as a means of grounding herself in her current one, earnestly depicting her reflections on what it means to be present in an environment.
Altered Landscapes: Over the years I have had the opportunity to spend time in many unique places: Diablo Canyon, Canyon De Chelly and the Black Place, all of which are located in the southwestern United States. For each of these visits, my initial reaction was an intense amount of excitement and fear as I was confronted with something which I recognized as much bigger than myself. I think these reactions were in part due to the vastness, overwhelming beauty, and sense of strength and power from the scale of these environments in comparison to my own body. I attempt to highlight these experiences through printmaking in hopes that they are more than documentations but rather a set of aesthetic experiences that emphasize a larger context. The act of making is an important aspect of my work: utilizing skill and interest in techniques I used printmaking and alternative photography processes to make this body of work. I stated with photographs and drawings that serve as notes and documentation of these experiences, then begin working in the darkroom and printmaking studio. Combining as interest in semiotics and geology I use repetition and layering as a way of formulating content and context. While making these prints, I took into consideration basic fundamental art principals such as form, space and color. I am also very interested in experimenting with composition and how it can impact the outcome of the work. The prints are often worked and reworked again and again until they have reached a point of completion.
Adriana Barrios was born and raised in San Diego, California. In 2009 she graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in printmaking. In 2015 Adriana attended an international artist residency in Florence, Italy at Santa Reparata International School of Art. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts Degree at The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is a recipient of the Education Graduate Research Fellow Scholarship. Her work has been exhibited regionally in Texas, New Mexico and Wisconsin and internationally in Italy and Mexico. Her most recent work involves her revisiting the coastal landscapes of her upbringing. She is interested in exploring the ways we observe, interact and respond to land in which we live in. She uses printmaking, photography and video to explore these ideas.
Be Excellent To Each Other is a visual collection of my experience in Madison, Wisconsin. I document surroundings of my new city by photographing details that have become familiar to me on a regular basis. These subjects have become guides for me; they are reference points, in my new environment, and with them I have established a sense of familiarity and comfort. Rather than looking outward into a vast desert southwest landscape of my upbringing, I am now focusing on a place that is new, and therefore attempting to characterize my connection to Madison. I photographed all of the images with a Mamiya RB67 ProS medium format camera and have carefully rewound and reused rolls of film to create double exposures. Although this is somewhat experimental in technique, the pairings of the images are deliberate and planned out. The results of two layered images reveal a visual metaphor for the time I have spent here, covering and uncovering relevant details that play a role in the discovery of my new home.
Barbara Justice (b. 1975, El Paso, TX) is a southwest native, who grew up in southern New Mexico and west Texas. At a young age, she discovered that making photographic images was her passion and thus completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Photography from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2009. While living in San Antonio she created Justice Works Studio, and over the course of four years she exhibited emerging and established artists of south Texas. In 2015, Justice completed a seven month artist residency at Santa Reparata International School of Art in Florence, Italy. Her series On The White Sands was published in PRYME Magazine, a quarterly publication dedicated to instant film. She is a member of Film Shooters Collective an international collective of film photographers. Her work has been exhibited in Oregon, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and Texas.