The exhibition’s namesake, The Ambassadors, is derived from the Late Gothic master Hans Holbein’s painting of the same name. The painting is notorious for the inclusion of an ethereal floating skull. Seemingly from another dimension, the skull is stretched across an otherwise traditional painting. This symbolic intrusion acts as a break in time and space reminding us of the sacred and spiritual existing between life and death.

Barker draws upon this break. Her new work waxes and wanes between paintings of spiritual experiences to unstretched canvases acting as sacred tools, portals, and guides to accompany her personal meditative rituals. The works become lyrical interpretations of these energetic spaces, beings, and props. 

Prior to the opening of the exhibition, Barker will conduct a private ritual within the gallery to bless, play with, and make use of the paintings; her private ritual being an improvised reenactment of a healing ritual she did 20 years ago in front of an invitation-only audience. This continues her decades long feminist, nature-based spiritual practice. The finishing ritual imbues the work with the very illusory and invisible energy she has drawn from throughout her life.  

We encourage you to read the following in contemplation of this new work and the artist's own attempt to understand the purpose of these mysterious works that are both light-hearted and deadly serious:

The blanket, the milky way, her robes
Bugs Bunny's rabbit hole
A space that is a thing/being
An object that is a holding cell and entrance
The angle of viewing
The angel of viewing
Fake vomit
Dried paint wet underneath
Blessed and prayed on, private ceremony
The skull smeared across the bottom of the painting
Witch, wardrobe, lion
The shift holding wind made into a sail
Bandages removed sort of holding the shape of the body they patched up
Speech bubble, differing text balloons
A shroud
Rough drafts for future healing tools, mine, maybe our's, your's?
Your pocketknife, his weapon, their scissors, her blade of grass
8-bit thunderstorm groove on loop
The solo re-enactment of a performance from 20 years ago, learned, but not by watching the VHS tape with bad tracking
What I see when I try to recall your features
 
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