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Biography

Norman Barney was born in Saginaw, Michigan, USA and immigrated to Canada with his family when he was fifteen. He presently works in his studios located in Petrolia and on Manitoulin Island.
Norman Barney’s work deals with the effects of nostalgia and kitsch on the emotions. His approach is whimsical rather than didactic. His work depends on place and immediate surroundings for his inspiration and his found materials.
His assemblage sculptures and wall-hung works use kitsch items, spray foam, Mache’, acrylic paint, wood and metal. These works can be free-standing sculptures or wall hung reliefs.
In his most recent paintings, Barney uses extreme painting techniques to explore the various and unique characteristics of acrylic paint in order to explore its plastic and artificial qualities. In these works he incorporates fabrics and found plastic items along with paint textures, hard-edge techniques, and patterning to develop an interaction between the flat and the 3-D. These works shift away from nostalgia and kitsch and are more process oriented. Whimsy is still an aspect of his painterly work.
Recently, he has also introduced light, sound, and movement into his work through electronics, Ardiunos, and sensors.

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