Ciara Barker | Printmaking & Contemporary Practice
Ciara Barker’s work is concerned with the engagement of perceptual awareness. Blurring the lines between the physical and the metaphysical, she searches for the spaces in-between dualities. Her practice spans drawing, printmaking, photography, video and installation. A central component of her practice, is the nature of light. Light is the agent which provides the condition for visual perception and white light may be divided into its primary colours; red, green and blue, and secondary colours; cyan, magenta and yellow. The separation of light may alter our objectified experience, drawing our attention to the light itself, heightening our awareness of the transitory nature of physical objects.
Meditation guides, breathing exercises and light manipulating objects all hold positions of great influence within the work. Drawing from a deep pool of methods commonly used to access the invisible, Barker surveys the boundaries of the material and its intersection with the immaterial.
The work often reflects on the ideas of Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Focusing on the thought that we often feel we are at the centre of existence, forgetting that we also have an outer self, perceived by others. When we begin to see ourselves through another person’s objective picture, we come to experience our existence as a body within the world.
Barker is also interested in Merleau-Ponty’s argument that perception is an action and that the movement of a body is necessary in order for it to perceive. This highlights to the artist, the importance of the physical engagement of the viewer. By absorbing the viewer physically into the work they become aware of the space as a whole, and in moving through the space they also become aware of the people within it. Realising that both themselves and the others have become a part of the work itself.