Showing artwork together is a familiar and enjoyable experience for Barbara Justice and Adriana Barrios, who have presented three previous duo exhibits and been a couple for close to 10 years. They spent three years living in Santa Fe and got married in town last July.
Their show “Here Nor There” opening at No Land on August 19 includes work that Barrios, who is working on a master’s degree in printmaking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Justice, a photographer who grew up in southern New Mexico, have been creating in Wisconsin.
“This body of work is very important to me for a number of reasons,” says Barrios, whose images combine landscape-based photography with patterns of intaglio-printed signs and symbols that play with repetition, variation and layering.
“While working on this series (Altered Landscapes), I was participating in an artist residency in Florence, Italy for seven months. It was the first time in my life where I was able to dedicate all of my time to the studio. Because of this, I was really able to concentrate and experiment in ways I never had been able to.”
Justice’s large format photography plays with double-exposed film. In her photographs, nature-based imagery is juxtaposed with what she calls “visual landmarks,” glimpses of her current urban setting that seem extraordinary.
“I document surroundings in my new city by photographing details that have become familiar to me on a regular basis,” Justice explains. “My piece “Yellow Bird (Vintage Store)” (seen above) is a double exposure comprised of two images.
“The first is a screen print of yellow bird character that Adriana did for a graduate school project, while the second exposure has characters, mannequins, that adorn changing outfits in a vintage store I drive by every day. Combining these characters tells my story of being in Madison right now.”
Both artists reflect on presence and displacement in their work.