Barbara Burns


The tactile experience of working with fiber, along with the depth of color and richness of the woven surface excites and drives me.

Using images from burlesque, belly dancing and drag, I am creating a body of work of women baring their bodies in dance. Using stage names, the performers create new personas, as they expose themselves. My intention is to use tapestry to capture the performers' risk-taking, while challenging the objectification of women. I'm exploring the tension, perhaps contradictions, between stripping for self-actualization and objectification. The “Burlesque Series” is motivated by the personal choice of dancers to bare our bodies not to please men, but to praise and empower ourselves.

The dichotomy of the ancient medium of tapestry used to express contemporary subjects is a powerful tool. In my work, I use this dichotomy to make a statement that leads the viewer to question traditional conventions.


Maine, USA
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