skip to main content

Woolworth Walk

Dona Barnett

Why birds? I had an unforgettably wonderful experience of rescuing a small wild bird trapped against a window. As I cupped the bird in my hands it seemed almost weightless. When I opened my hands to set it free, I felt the faintest brush of wings against my palms, a little like a whisper. That gentle push into flight seems to be a universal longing and we humans do it clumsily. I have used the subject of birds and specifically crows as a basis for the concept of the Now and Not Yet, the human longing for completion. I chose to represent the bird figures realistically in ambiguous space to emphasize the disconnect between what is now and what we as humans hope for but have not yet received in full. I am exploring the image of eggs in my work to represent potential, or the new life we desire. We are part of a grand complex plan but can sometimes be turned inward, egg shaped, not using our potential as images of our Creator.

My recent work is an exploration into the synthesis of complex natural matrices. I have chosen to exemplify this complexity visually using stained tissue squares sewn together with gold silk thread into large panels. I then draw, paint and print directly into the fabric that I have created, bringing out images that I see within the stains. Most often I bring out images of nests. I have used the image of nests for two reasons. They easily illustrate the intricate interweaving of events and all things in the world, physical as well as spiritual. Like a bird building a nest with bits of grass, twigs and found materials, the seemingly unimportant elements of human existence contribute to the final outcome. Nests also provide a reference to another human connection, that of home, an ending or beginning point. An empty nest may have both a negative and a positive connotation of either loss or hope. A logical segue from eggs and nests is the simple return to birds, participating in the inter-woven complexity yet oblivious to it, once again referencing the human condition.

Gallery 828-254-9234 | Soda Fountain 828-254-9210

25 Haywood Street, Asheville, NC 28801
©2020 Woolworth Walk, LLC.