P.W.D.s Pandemic Worry Dolls
February 26th – April 4th
The Great Highway Gallery is excited to present P.W.D.s a window installation by San Francisco artist Leigh Barbier.
I began making Pandemic Worry Dolls in April of this year. By sending them to my close friends, family members and front line workers, it was my way to reach out and offer support and connection in the absence of face to face contact. They are constructed out of cardboard and hot glue, painted with acrylic, further adorned with fabric and found objects. Each one is unique and each one carries a specific worry. The worry is like a prayer, silent and heart felt. I continue to make them in batches of a dozen. And I will keep making them until we can live without fear of the virus. These are a few samples.
About the Artist
I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, California, and grew up on a gravel road, running barefoot and free between neighbor’s homes. I attended a Christian Science church every Sunday and Disneyland once a year. I remember thinking as a small child that Sees candy was a religious destination and God looked like a tube of toothpaste. Later museums replaced Sees candy and I found order in the universe through art.
I am drawn to religious art, admire Thomas Hart Benton’s line and color, adore the muralist of the Mexican Revolution and can`t get the images of Disney from my 1960s childhood out of my visual vocabulary.
I have found that the work I have done to earn a living has impacted me more than anything I learned in college. From museum model-making to digital painting for the special effects industry; they have both shaped and condensed my hands on skills and sharpened my eye.The highlights have been working on dioramas for the California Academy of Sciences, being part of an all girl team to make a giant baseball mitt for the Giants stadium and digitally painting on Star Wars, Episode 2 and 3. My best freelance opportunity to date has come from my experience working with the San Francisco musical group, The Residents over the last 15 years. This has been the perfect combination of work and art, an opportunity to combine my vision with the narrative visuals of the Residents’ myth-making.
For me, making drawings, paintings and sculpture is a simple and direct process of giving emotions form. This compulsion, along with my over-active imagination that perceives peril around every corner, drives my image making.