undercurrents remix 1, family debris
46 x 46 Monoprint with mixed media: collage and thread, 2014
I work in multiple media, and look at everything as a potential art making material, always welcoming the challenge of transforming and re-composing household objects, personal cast offs or nature’s detritus in combination with traditional materials and methods. My current practice focuses on the extensive and ongoing family debris series which is comprised of printmaking, mixed media work, sculpture and installation. The family debris series re-purposes my family of 5’s cast offs and ephemera; our post-consumer waste stream, as art materials. The work communicates my perspective on motherhood, childhood, feminism, and consumerism through the choice of materials and how they are used.
The family debris prints and mixed media pieces are made with the desire to re-use what we already own and no longer want or need: to give the objects a 2nd life, a use beyond a slow death in a land fill. Selected family debris is placed on inked plexi plates to create layers of color and form, effectively memorializing the mundane & obsolete.
My compositions are abstract from a distance, while objects used daily, become recognizable as the viewer moves in closer to the embossed and inked print surface. The detritus offers a new avenue for experiencing what we work so hard to purchase & effortlessly throw away. In essence the family debris series is pleasurable penance for a family using and discarding too much: waste not, want not.
Lisa Barthelson grew up in a family of artists and has been making art since childhood. She works in multiple mediums, looking at everything as a potential art making material, always welcoming the challenge of transforming and re-composing household objects, personal cast offs or nature’s detritus in combination with traditional materials and methods.
Barthelson’s work has been exhibited throughout New England and in NY, including in Newport Art Museum’s Winter 2018 Exhibition and Fitchburg Art Museum’s Fall 2016 Exhibition. Barthelson’s site specific sculpture: ’hangling’ was purchased in 2018, by the Newport Art Museum for their Permanent Collection. Commissions included site specific wall sculptures for Kronos. Inc. and for Worcester State University. Barthelson has been awarded artist-in- residence fellowships at Vermont Studio Center, VT, Playa, OR, and The Kimmel Harding Nelson Arts Center, NE.
Barthelson works from her studio in Worcester MA, and is an active member of the Worcester based Blackstone Print Studio Cooperative. She earned a BS in Environmental Design from the University Connecticut and an MLA, Masters in Landscape Architecture from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is a Registered Landscape Architect in Massachusetts. Barthelson has received awards for her mixed media print work, sculpture and public art.