Artist Statement

Barbara considers herself a Narrative Shifter: using the arts to challenge inaccurate and outdated perceptions of Indigenous Peoples and other marginalized groups. She believes the arts to be a powerful and effective tool for survival and an instrument to unite communities and move public policy.
As a figurative oil painter, Barbara approaches each piece of work as an opportunity to tell a visual story; where the subject’s history is embedded, either overtly or subversively, into the fabric of the work. Each artwork embodies an interwoven record of the artist and subject’s interactions and inter-connectedness, pays homage to the stories that are often ignored and captures the beauty in those that are often denied admiration by mainstream society.
Drawn to historical photos of Indigenous Peoples from the turn of the 20th century, a selection of Barbara’s work captures the tension between traditional lifeways and the Industrial Age: the place where ‘past’ meets ‘future’ and sits in a dialectic contradiction and defiance with one another.
She is also inspired by the power of the feminine and challenges traditional perceptions while exploring its modern definitions. Barbara’s intention is to uplift self-identifying women who, in the face of adversity, speak truth to power.
Captivated by the ability to manipulate materials into objects of beauty and power, Barbara is also skilled in working with clay, metal, wood, photography, and fabric. Her three-dimensional works often honor ancestral traditions and memory.