Reflections and Shadows
Sebastopol Center for the Arts
Photo credits: top center and right, John Martin; lower left, Adrian Mendoza
Foster City, CA – Barbara M. Berk’s sculpture “Lace Four: No Loose Ends” will be exhibited in Reflections and Shadows at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA from February 17 – March 26, 2017. Juried by Maria Medua, Director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Artists Gallery, the exhibition focuses on the duality of light and dark, and on reflections of every kind, including those introspective or narcissistic.
“Lace Four: No Loose Ends” is a hanging sculpture, created with phosphor bronze wire using Bobbin Lace, a fiber technique that dates to the Renaissance. Light shining on the sculpture is reflected back to the eye by the many surfaces of the sculpture’s twisted wires, while simultaneously casting shadows on the wall.
Barbara M. Berk explores strength and beauty, transparency and movement through the interplay of metal with traditional fiber techniques. She makes lace with round wire by hand, working flat and straight. She then curves, loops, twists, interweaves and sews her flat “fabric” into a 3-dimensional form. Within this tapestry of process, material and form, Berk plays with line and pattern, volume and scale, density and texture.
She embraces the dualities and seeming contradictions inherent in such a tapestry: Soft and Hard. Domestic processes and Industrial materials. Positive and Negative space. Object and Shadow. Thereby animated, her calligraphic abstractions become intriguing, mesmerizing sculptures.
Barbara M. Berk’s free-standing and hanging sculpture has been exhibited in Not Flat, Peninsula Sculptors’ Guild at the Museum Studios’ Gallery, Peninsula Museum of Art, Burlingame, CA (2017); International Fiber Arts VII, juried by Lia Cook (US), John Hopper (UK), Kyoko Kumai (Japan), at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA (2015); Sculpture: On and Off the Wall, Peninsula Sculptors’ Guild at the Coastal Arts League, Half Moon Bay, CA (2015).
Her wearable sculpture is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Boston, MA) and the Museum of the Gemological Institute of America (Carlsbad, CA). It has been exhibited in museums and shows across the US and featured in many publications including Textile Techniques in Metal for Jewelers, Textile Artists and Sculptors by Arline Fisch (1996, 2016). She presented “Textile Techniques in Metal: (Un)Familiar Materials, (Un)Expected Methods” at the 8th Annual Portland Jewelry Symposium, Portland, OR (2015); and “Contemporary Applications of Textile Techniques in Metal: A Jewelry Artist’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” at the 4th Annual Conference of the Association for the Study of Jewelry and Related Arts, New York, NY (2009).
She is the author of “Textile Techniques in Metal: A Designer’s Perspective on Sheet and Wire” Parts I and II, presented at the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing (2004 and 2006, respectively) and published in the Symposiums’ Proceedings.