Fortunate to have been given 'new eyes' through study of ikebana (Sogetsu) and
chado (Japanese tea ceremony), I developed an understanding and deep appreciation
of the use of negative space. The principles that govern both the spirit of ikebana
and tea ceremony have had a profound effect on my work: these disciplines are invested as
much on what is absent as what is present. For me, Japanese aesthetic sensibility and
Nordic design principles both include a deep admiration for simplicity and spaciousness.
Recently 'chigiri e' (Japanese paper collage) has become my primary medium. Unlike
the traditional Japanese form, I create my own version of this traditional art and
incorporate Italian marble and other papers as well as mica. In this way a primarily 2D
expression can make a leap into the sculptural realm.
Born in the Chicago area to parents of Danish and Swedish descent, Barbara Stevens Strauss
received her first formal studio training as an undergraduate with abstract expressionist
Vera Klement at the University of Chicago. While living in Naples, Florida, raku
became a consuming interest. After relocating to the Bay Area, her work has been selected
for juried exhibits throughout California. Some of these sculptural forms have been used
at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco as part of the ikebana display created
weekly by volunteers in the museum's towering lobby. A longtime member of the Pacific Rim
Sculptors Group, she has studied with Susannah Israel, Andree Singer Thompson, and been
strongly influenced by Paul Soldner, Peter Voulkos, and most significantly, Isamu Noguchi.
Barbara Stevens Strauss
web site: www.bstevensart.com