The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists

By Robert Craig Bunch | Go to book overview

Barbara Irwin

Received September 22, 2011
Born 1942, Houston; lives in Austin

Figure 38. Barbara Irwin, Untitled, 2007

A fellow artist‘s half-finished frame, old fence wood, handmade insect
trap/cage, rubber stamp holder, dowels, finials, folk art wooden art,
prong-like tool, brass doorknob, metal wings, decorative element,
wooden silverware tray, 29" × 21" × 3¾"

Courtesy of the artist

Photograph: Jen Jenkins Photography

Q You say you’ve been an artist all your life. What do you mean?

A My life has been an ongoing work in progress. Whether it’s through the different jobs that I have held or whether it’s through my everyday life, which means pulling weeds, cooking a meal, or creating art. Everything has been done in an artistic way.

Q How did your mother and others nurture your artistic abilities?

A My mom recognized my artistic abilities when I was around eleven or twelve. She always encouraged me to do whatever I chose to do and was very supportive.

Q What led you to begin making collages in your forties? Do you still make them?

A I actually started making collages in my teens, always giving them to family and friends. In my forties someone came into my home in Hawaii and asked how much one of my collages hanging on my wall was. That was the first time I actually thought of putting my art out into the world and into galleries and museums. I still make collages, but must admit that found-object art has taken over my life.

Q Tell me about your latest series, Towers of Power.

ATowers of Power—Spiritual Totems is my latest attempt to take found-object art to a more architectural basis, combining objects that wouldn’t ever have gone together into structures that elevate us to stretch our imaginations to a new level.

Q When and why did you begin your Confinement series of found objects in cages? How did that evolve?

A The Confinement series started with a piece created in the spring of 1995 in Hawaii just before I moved back to the mainland to Austin, Texas. The response to the piece was positive, and since I had collected cages I thought it

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The Art of Found Objects: Interviews with Texas Artists
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Margaret Adie 9
  • Helen Altman 12
  • Celia Álvarez Muñoz 14
  • The Art Guys- Michael Galbreth 17
  • Jack Massing 19
  • Frances Bagley 22
  • Karin Broker 25
  • Maureen Brouillette 28
  • Steve Brudniak 31
  • Margarita Cabrera 35
  • Eugene W. R. Campbell Jr 38
  • Danville Chadbourne 40
  • Claire Cusack 46
  • Robert Dampier 48
  • Roberto del Rio 51
  • Martin Delabano 54
  • Vernon Fisher 58
  • Trenton Doyle Hancock 60
  • Vincent Hannemann 62
  • Ann Harithas 66
  • Dana Harper 69
  • Joseph Havel 71
  • Tracy Hicks 73
  • Paul Horn 77
  • Otis Huband 79
  • Christopher Hynes 81
  • Barbara Irwin 83
  • Joy Jenkins 85
  • Norman Kary 89
  • Mimi Kato 93
  • Sharon Kopriva 96
  • Laura Jean Lacy 98
  • Marilyn Lanfear 101
  • Lance Letscher 104
  • Ken Little 106
  • Bert L. Long Jr 111
  • Jesse Lott 115
  • Edward Lane McCartney 117
  • Mary McCleary 121
  • Leila McConnell 124
  • Kelly O’Connor 127
  • Mari Omori 129
  • Kathleen Packlick 131
  • Angelica Paez 134
  • Kevin Parmer 136
  • Forrest Prince 139
  • Russell Prince 142
  • Dario Robleto 144
  • Aaron Roe 147
  • Jonathan Rosenstein 149
  • John Mark Sager 151
  • Joel Sampson 154
  • Ward Sanders 156
  • Luke Savisky 158
  • Kelly Sears 163
  • Al Souza 165
  • Julie Speed 167
  • James Michael Starr 169
  • Henry Stein 173
  • Gary Sweeney 175
  • Cecil Touchon 177
  • Patrick Turk 181
  • Janet L. Waldrop 184
  • Debbie Wetmore 186
  • Steve Wiman 188
  • Sources and Further Reading 191
  • Index 199
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