We’re Not Who We Use To Be., 2020

Dimensions: 84" x 84" x 20"

Image courtesy of the artist

Matthew Barton

New Orleans, Louisiana

Being raised Catholic in the rural south, I was imbued with a sense of guilt and shame from a young age. As the years went by I faded from the church, but my upbringing left a profound mark on me. That guilt has developed into an anxiety; one that is often soothed by labor. I find myself frequently turning to repetitive tasks, savoring small moments of reflection in the rhythm. Within these moments I can recall the points of my life that brought anxiety, stress or guilt, and I can process them. I feel a sense of calm wash over me, like a burden has been relieved–like I have transferred my feelings into matter. My work revolves using these familiar rhythmic actions and recording the transformative qualities they have upon both maker and object. Drawing inspiration from Catholic iconography and symbolism, I use found objects to create records of the transfer of myself into the work.