Barbara Robertson

Barbara Robertson


The images in my new work are meant, in part, to question how imagination, geometry and structure shape our physical and cultural environment, and how that environment impacts the individuals living in those spaces. “Architectonic” is an on-going series of works on paper and animations inspired by two separate yet seminal influences in my artistic life: my present experience of witnessing my city’s transformation through rapid building development, and Constructivism, a one-hundred-year-old art and architecture movement that captured my imagination as a student. We are in a very similar cultural moment today to the one the original Constructivists faced after the first World War. Many of us believe, as the

Constructivists assumed, that impressive technological advances will eventually create a better world but are challenged by pervasive consumerism and a focus on personal gain, often at the expense of our communities. In Seattle, our environment is constantly changing architecturally, often in dramatic ways. Landmarks and other more modest historic structures are disappearing, so we no longer have them as a touchstone for our sense of cultural continuity. The result is a shifting sense of place and a constant reconfiguring of space, combined with an expanding visual uniformity. How much rapid change can we absorb without feeling detached from our environment.? And frequently, we as citizens don’t know who is deciding what our city will look like. This contributes to a growing sense of powerlessness made clear by events in the national political world.

The original sound score for the “Architectonic” animations was created by sound designer, Johanna Melamed.


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