28″x26″x12 – 61″x62″x36″
steel sheet, steel round bar, steel pipe
This work examines my religious experience with nature. I am no longer a religious person. Yet having grown up in forested mountains, I have always felt a connection to trees. The only spirituality I now believe in is an unnamed binding force between all humans and nature. Having lived in Houston for 14 years where trees are scarce, I still feel an inner force that yearns for nature. The steel trees represent this yearning and perhaps even a kind of loss—a loss to physical relocation, to Capitalism, to climate change. The trees are a dichotomy between a cold manufactured death, and organic forms and desires. The round steel bars are barren and sterilized. The act of cutting down is immortalized by the base plates, which utilize aesthetic qualities to perversely accentuate their point of severance. I have used figural representation to conjure deathly beings into space; a metaphor for the death of my own religious faith. These are the ghosts of nature.
Price listed is per individual piece. Actual piece to be picked by artist.
Item is located in Roseville, MI. Local pickup available. Shipping unavailable. This item is available for pick up after July 1st.
Jen Barker is an emerging multimedia artist born in Houston, Texas. Ever since she was a child, Barker has always been an artist. Raised in an intensive religious group, her work often explores and critiques organized religion and the effect it has had on her mental health. She works in a variety of mediums but frequently returns to metalworking and an array of fiber practices. She is interested in exploring themes of mental health, racial justice, feminism, politics, nature, spirituality, and more. Barker has exhibited work at SITE Gallery, Third Space Gallery, Blaffer Art Museum, Warehouse Live, Lyndall Finley Wortham Theatre, Elgin Street Studios, and Bohemeos, in Houston, Texas. Her work has been featured in Glass Mountain and Shards publications. She has interned and worked with Houston-based artists Daniel Calderon and Emily Dingmann. Barker earned her BFA in Sculpture with honors from the University of Houston in May 2022 and is currently studying for her MFA in Sculpture from Cranbrook Academy of Art. Upon graduation, she intends to find a teaching position at a college or university near her home outside Detroit, Michigan while maintaining her studio practice.