Artist: Emily Anne Barnett
Gallery: Dr. Maxine Merlino Gallery
Exhibition: Recent Works on Paper
Emily Barnett from Northern California and has taken drawing seriously for the past nine years. After completing her undergrad from Humboldt State University she transferred and is now a current grad student here at Cal State Long Beach in the printmaking program. She uses the combination of portraiture and abstraction to unravel the emotions of mental illness.
Her artwork consists of a young version of herself with stuffed bears surrounding her. Most of her pieces pop on the plain white canvas with all other objects filling in space. The artwork she produces are actually lithographs that are drawn on limestone. The work she had displayed took any where from four days to 3 weeks, so there is a wide range of a time span.
Emily has suffered from anxiety and depression her whole life. Which she strongly advises to cure right away if possible. In college there are many stress factors that can break people and she really made it clear to seek help with all the resources we as students are available to. Which is what her series of work and topics depicted. She stated that the little girl in each of the drawings were her, and the animal portrayed is Pooh Bear from Winnie and the Pooh. She told us the childhood stories of her struggling with the illness, and told us the bear represented her comfort object as to how she dealt with it. The emotions her work had shown were a lot more than looking at the frames and seeing a sad little girl. The frames represented a life, a childhood story and an illness millions of people deal with daily.
As far as Emily bringing awareness to this illness, I’m all about it. I have never been able to see a artist show lifelong challenges they live with and have to cope with themselves. Especially, when they don’t have the chance to change it. Ive met people that deal with symptoms and emotions like this but never how it effects them. I think Emily is able to touch many people on a personal level, and its a great topic to bring the attention to.