These works’ collective mantra silence no longer protects us; we will not exist here. This removes strains placed on black women to teach and exist to redirect our agency in how we position ourselves in this revolution. – artist statement from barnes’ exhibition at Big Medium
In her mixed media works, Austin-based artist taylor barnes accentuates the raw texture of unfinished canvas and the rich, brittle quality of willow charcoal in deep black compositions that connect to her themes of the African American experience and collective trauma. These icons or apparitions of black women radiate from the canvas due to how densely barnes’ applies the charcoal, forcing the particles into the fabric. barnes received her degree in Fibers from University of North Texas, and her affection for cloth is visible in her attention to the nubby canvas and her freely sewn lines of thread that move throughout the silhouetted figures. She has exhibited locally and nation-wide, and in 2020 was awarded the Sylvia Houlgand Emerging Artist Award.