I work primarily with letterpress, but not in a traditional sense. I use wood type, mostly large-scale, to create an abstraction of the letter, sometimes by repeating, overlapping, or rotating. I often work without a lot of pre-planning, not knowing how the letter "K" will actually appear when printed back to back or overlapped, so I just go for it, trying different combinations of each print. However, there are times when I work straight from my sketchbook where I have tried to predict how everything will look. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't! I find myself sticking with black ink on white paper. Because text is traditionally read in black and white, this reiterates my idea of abstracted type and miscommunication.
The hope is that my work creates a conversation that addresses how we communicate. Anyone who has been in a relationship, had a family or a friend (everyone!) knows how difficult it is to maintain those relationships when we aren't communicating clearly. When we open up, communicate directly and say what we mean, things are much simpler. This can definitely be translated into a community or neighborhood setting, where neighbors have to work together to get things done.
Before moving here, I felt like Chicago presented a huge opportunity for me as a printmaker. Coming from a small town in Georgia, I was limited as to where I could work and access a print studio. Chicago gave me the opportunity to be a part of a print community where I can create my own print work, but also teach in a community setting.
Brandy Barker is a printmaker and teaching artist in Chicago, Illinois. Originally from Georgia, Brandy received her BFA in Printmaking from the University of West Georgia in 2008. After spending time as an intern at Atlanta Printmakers Studio and with the Fulton County Public Art Program, she moved to Chicago in 2010. After settling in, she landed at Spudnik Press as Studio Assistant and Teaching Artist.