Tara B


Art began for me as quiet and sneaky as a creeping fog. It was the way I found to isolate/hide from the noise of life. I am an abuse survivor. I am mentally ill. I broke laws and took drugs....until the right combination and dosages of meds, years of therapy and a few support groups brought me back to the living. I became a musician and toured in bands internationally with wildly varying degrees of success. After settling in the Bay Area I started to draw this series you see. I surround myself with people, and I chase isolation. I found it in a drawing There is the quiet and now I could make it myself, just by doing this one thing. This thing that results in pieces of paper that please me. At first, it was not a thing to share. It was for my eyes only. My isolation - who would volunteer to share that? But there are so many, someone was bound to see whether I wanted that or not.

Most of these are about capturing the quiet, the isolation. I crave it, complete with the ringing in the ears and unconscious clenching of leg muscles. Life was never pretty, and even if there is a beauty in it, it hurts. Which is what some of these drawings are doing and I hope that they are not pretty, or good. But I hope that you can read those lines, about something not pretty, that might only be there because of the pain.

Among other things, Tara Circus Barnes is a musician, an artist, and K-12 curriculum consultant based in Oakland, California.