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We are surrounded by complexity, empowered, emboldened, and sometimes confounded by a steady stream of technological marvels. Humanity courts disaster but regularly invents solutions to problems we didn’t previously see or comprehend. We are living with and through mega-crises as the pace of change accelerates and the unintended consequences of human action over Millenia multiply and threaten to overwhelm.

In this context, making art is equal parts sense-making and pursuit of solace. Every new work is a search for meaning, and an attempt to reconcile the contradictions that define our lives and times. Currently, I am on a quest to find hope and build community, while grappling with questions big and small: Will future generations inherit a wasteland or a wonderland? Where do we find authentic community? What will build connections and lift our spirits for the road ahead? How do we heal the world?

Inspired by acts of courage – both individual and collective – my work considers the dynamic tension between past and future, known and unknowable, convergence and divergence, order and chaos, hope and fear. Using a range of techniques and materials, I pursue painting, printmaking, and textile art. A single work often combines monoprints with screen printing, block printing, or abstracted digital images. Stitched fabrics sometimes stand in as “plates,” inked up to reveal the underside of quilts and garments including the fibers and lines of stitching. I find inspiration in and through the natural world, history, connections, and conversations.

Every new work is an exploration of the frontier between my feelings, and experience with the world on the one hand, and an array of raw materials, textures, and techniques on the other. The medium is essential to the message. Scale is relative. The most intimate prints can suggest broad landscapes, and larger works may explore a microscape.

Barbara Kibbe, 2023