Nina Barnes’s art is caught between two natural extremes: the stark strangeness of her native Norway and the lush jungle of her adopted state of Georgia. She moved to Athens, Georgia, in 2002, where she has worked on projects that combine performance art, music and video with the bands of Montreal and Harouki Zombi. Her process is accumulative. She collects vintage botanical illustrations that she then cuts up and turns into collages. She augments them with watercolor and drawings, then scans the results, tinkers with them digitally, prints them, and adds more handwork. She continues in a cycle until she feels a work is complete, up to a year sometimes for a single work. She says, “there’s always something I want to tinker with.”
Barnes says, “There’s a starkness and strangeness to the wilderness of my childhood in the northern regions of Norway (way past the arctic circle) that I cherish more than anything else, but I was taken by the humid green world of Georgia in equal ways: it felt exotic and a little bit dangerous and so it fueled my imagination in new and surprising ways. I think my art is a meeting of those two worlds in some way, a symbiotic inner landscape of a world I would like to be in.”
“Upon the Green Night” calls to mind Japanese ukiyo-e prints in its proportions and its layering of foreground, middle ground, and background. These woodblock prints date from the 17th to the 19th century and featured multiple blocks to apply different carefully shaded colors. Barnes says that she has “always loved their delicate craftsmanship and colors.” Hills give way to bigger hills and so on, undulating gently as they burst with natural life: seedpods, fruits, fungi, root vegetables, and fish, all happily sharing the same world. The absence of humanity is notable as is the way plants appear to be mirrored in the wavelike hills they sit atop rather than in the water below.
• 1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzle
• Finished Puzzle Size: 19.25" x 26.625"
• Linen pieces on quality blueboard backing
• Matte Finish to reduce glare
• Recommended Age: 13+ Years