Beth Barron

I’d like my work to be a monument to the resiliency of the human spirit and a wish for wholeness. Within each piece is emptiness, chaos, paths chosen or passed by, despair and repair.

I rip and tear fabric that once belonged to someone else. I burn the cloth or use it to wipe the floor. I pick up band-aids that lie on the ground. Symbols of pain or symbols of healing? I am moved by the remnants of others’ lives.

I work these scraps together by hand, one stitch leading to the next.

Needle in needle out, the work is a meditation. I work with intention and devotion. I listen for and feel the rhythm of the piece. I strive to attend to the mark. Sometimes taking a stitch as if it were the first and the last.

I will forever be compelled by the “stitch” and the metaphor of it as a “mark” to catalog time, events and emotion. The line of the stitch fascinates me, knowing as I follow those marks my own story will unfold.

I am humbled by the infinite quantity of stitches that have been sewn by generations of women. Their work is the work that inspired me to practice. I know that those stitches carry within them secrets, prayers and dreams.

About the Bandages

I found my first BAND-AID in 1999, as I walked in grief around one of the many lakes in Minneapolis following a loss. Seeing that bandage on the pavement, I thought about how easy it is to soothe a child’s wounds, and give comfort. How often had I relieved my wailing child simply by applying a band-aid? And I laughed at myself, wishing it was as simple to repair a broken heart.

Since then, I have an uncanny ability to spy these discarded coverings (at parks, playgrounds and on sidewalks) and I know that somewhere another wound has been exposed. And, prodded by these symbols, I continue to discover metaphors to contemplate. I question how it is that we heal ourselves, body and soul, after personal or social devastation, whether our healed scars protect us in some new stronger way, and how fragile or resilient we will be once we have been wounded.