Adriana Barrios

University of Wisconsin-Madison
Master of Fine Arts

by | May 12, 2019 | Graduate 2019

Artist’s Statement
My artwork stands as a witness to human activity, loss, and beauty of the California coastline. Cities rush to find temporary alternatives to keep their sandy beaches alive but, in the end, the ocean is in control. Homes, businesses, and public infrastructure must deal with the impacts of an altered landscape. Erosion is accelerating, and the ocean sea level is rising.

Working alongside professor emeritus Robert Guza of The University of San Diego California Scripps School of Oceanography, qualitative data along with direct experience is incorporated through printmaking, papermaking, photography, and video as a way to capture a physical memory of the coastline and record my careful observation of coastal erosion.

Gathered sand from the coast is incorporated into paper pulp which is then printed with an etching constructed from direct drawings made out of the same sand which the paper holds. Engraved and etched lines made from collected sedimentary rocks from the eroded Torrey Pines cliffs mimic the energy and force of the Pacific Ocean. Recordings from a drone and cellphone monitor the changing landscape. A live feed camera pointed at the horizon keeps watch on the coastline making visible the subtle, mundane, and transformative.

My studio practice is an ongoing study on how the recordings and observations of art and science translate the places I inhabit and the way I navigate my time in them. Considering humanities global impact on the environment I am interested in how art might stand as a memorial for a time passed or as an archive documenting a place that may no longer exist. The coast is transforming it moves with the water, the earth and the people that pass through it.