Week 5: Artist Conversation – Emily Barnett


Artist: Emily Barnett

Exhibition: Recent Works on Paper

Media: Printmaking and Lithograph

Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery

Website: emilyannebarnett.com

Instagram: @emily_b_anne

Emily Barnett is currently an MFA printmaking student at CSULB. She received her BA in Art at Humboldt State University in the year of 2014. The piece on “Recent Works on Paper” consists of artwork that are intended to visualize experiences with mental illness. She uses an image based on a portrait of herself as a young child looking anxious. She states, “The paintings and painting elements are translating my personal experiences. The painting themselves can be influenced by past or current emotions.”

Former Analysis: Out of her five artworks in the gallery, three of them have a young child looking afraid and anxious, possibly scared of something. All but one of her pieces have teddy bears incorporated in them, it maybe a small or large teddy bear. Her portraits are very colorful,including all of the primary colors and more. One of her pieces stands out the most to me, which is the one with the scribble, child-like feel. She says that she is making her art intentionally childlike and the “messy”, “out-of-place” look, makes it seem as if a child had created this piece.

Content Analysis: Her art is intended to show her audience what a person with different kinds of mental illnesses might go through in their life. Explaining the reason for the scribbles throughout most of her paintings. Her work is also based on what she has been through, her experiences, and the emotions she has felt. “I am also making my art intentionally childlike, this stylistic choice is more visually connect to childhood and by this I try to evoke experiences relating to or are connected to childhood”, said Emily.

My Experience:  Initially seeing Emily’s work, i was indifferent about it. I never thought or even could imagine what the actual story was behind all of her pieces. After talking with her, my personal opinions and feelings towards her art changed immensely.  After I read her artist statement, I was able to see the connection between her art and what it is intended to show. It was a pleasure looking at all of your beautiful art. I am truly inspired!

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