Marie Porterfield Barry Featured in Oxford American’s “100 Under 100: The New Superstars of Southern Art”
25, Jonesville, Virginia
Marie Porterfield Barry’s mystical oil paintings draw from traditions of storytelling and mythmaking as well as her own Appalachian heritage. Her visuals are both macro- and microcosmic. Wide-angle vistas, swirling with activity, offer up fluttering life forms, swans, swollen-bellied women holding apples, and men whose bodies are trees; the intricate compositions and glowing colors are reminiscent of illuminated manuscripts. In one work, a cross-sectional view of an eerily beautiful landscape reveals human creatures gestating beneath the ground like embryos or turnips. Like Hieronymus Bosch, Barry shows that existence is an elaborate spectacle.
—Scott Contreras-Koterbay, Department of Art & Design/Department of Philosophy, East Tennessee State University
“Folktale with Crows, Doves, and Lost Sheep: Where the Muddy Lake Is Full of Mystery and Where His Words Are Ravens and Where The Others Have Perhaps Lost Something or It Is Not Yet Found” (2008) by Marie Porterfield Barry. Oil on canvas, 45 x 72 inches.
Article about Marie Porterfield Barry on The University of Georgia’s Honors Program Website
MARIE PORTERFIELD BARRY
Fulbright Year: 2011-2012
Proposal Type: Creative
Field of Study: Design
Proposal Title: Collaborative Çini
UGA Graduate Department: Painting and Drawing
Graduation Date: May 2011, Master of Fine Arts
Hometown: Jonesville, VA
Traditional Turkish ceramics, known as cini, will form the basis of Marie Porterfield Barry’s Fulbright year as she spends her time studying the art form and overseeing a public art installation.
“Of particular interest to me are the çini tiles, which form monumental murals that ornament palaces, mosques and other architectural structures throughout Turkey dating back to the Ottoman Empire,” she says. “Traditionally, these intricately detailed tiles — purely abstract or with vines and flowers, painted on creamy white surfaces in rich blue and green tones with crimson red highlights and black outlines — are crafted in workshops where individuals collaborate to make immense works of art.
“For the first months of my studies, I will be working primarily in Kütahya, Turkey, which has been a center for çini production since the 14th century and has successfully maintained that tradition. During these first five months, I plan to work with master artists and focus extensively on the technical aspects of çini production, with particular attention paid to the method of painting and glazing and to the construction of multiple tile structures, while continuing to study the history and symbolism of the art form.”
Marie seeks to meld the old with the new during the second part of her year abroad, when she’ll focus on the public art presentation in nearby Eskişehir, which is expected to make a lasting impression.
“I plan to work with artists and students, traveling to a Anadolu University in neighboring city Eskişehir, to make a collaborative installation using the traditional method of çini fused with contemporary concerns,” says Marie, who earned her bachelor’s in fine arts with a concentration on painting from East Tennessee State and spent two years as a graduate research assistant for Ideas for Creative Exploration (ICE), an interdisciplinary initiative for advanced research in the arts at UGA.
“I will facilitate the conception, construction and final installation of a large-scale work of art to be permanently installed in a public location, inspired by the monumental çini tile murals that are viewable throughout Turkey. The tile mural, produced in collaboration with professors, artists and students in Kütahya and Eskişehir, will address the concept of the individual as part of the larger collective… Through this project, I will examine the creative individual as part of cooperative collective in the construction of a cross-cultural, collaborative work of art that is both personal and universal. The collaborative tile mural will be permanently installed in a public location in Turkey.”
Once the installation is completed, Marie says she’ll utilize technology to give art lovers all over the world a chance for an up-close-and-personal glimpse.
“I will recreate the project on the internet so viewers may explore the project from the United States, other parts of Turkey, or elsewhere,” she says. “Due to the web site, viewers will be able to access the project internationally, to share in my experience as a Fulbright researcher and to learn more about Turkey, çini, and the ideas behind the works of art created by the collaborators.
“I also plan to make a separate body of work exploring çini, which I will hopefully exhibit in both Turkey and the United States, documenting the cultural exchange and the Fulbright experience.”
Fulbright Grant in Creative and Performing Arts
Marie Porterfield Barry is currently a Fulbright Research Grantee to Turkey in Creative and Performing Arts, living in Kütahya, Turkey from September 2011-June 2012. In Turkey, she is studying traditional Turkish tile painting (çini), researching the differences in the creative process between collectivist and individualist societies, and building a collaborative public art installation with Turkish artists which will later be installed in Turkey and viewable via the web.
For a personal account of her time as an artist in Kütahya, please visit http://kutahyailluminated.wordpress.com/
small works show
Blue Tin Art Studio is located in the same building as Big City Bread on North Finley Street, Athens, Georgia.
Works will remain installed through the beginning of January 2010.
the others who haunt me and whom i haunt
“the others who haunt me and whom i haunt”
recent works by marie porterfield
november 12-november 24, 2009
opening reception: friday november 13, 7-9pm
the bridge exhibition space
lamar dodd school of art
the university of georgia
270 river road
athens, georgia 30602
just outside the bounds of my imagination,
bound creatures I will never know,
whom i imagine with human eyes and human faces,
but who are beyond my imagination.