Zemula Barr
January 19, 2024
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"In dreams, nothing is lost. Childhood homes, the dead, lost toys all appear with a vividness your waking mind could not achieve. Nothing is lost but you yourself, wanderer in a terrain where even the most familiar places aren't quite themselves and open onto the impossible."

― Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

I started making these digital composite images when I moved to Chicago from Portland, Oregon, in the summer of 2021. I felt compelled to bring together photographs from before and after this move to create completely new landscapes and spaces that, until now, only existed in my imagination. This process became a way to transition between these two stages of my life, which also corresponded with before and after the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. I wanted to hold onto the important places and memories I had left behind while immersing myself in my new surroundings. Everywhere that I have lived or visited has become a part of me, so in many ways, these are self-portraits. However, these images are also offered as transformative spaces in which anyone may get lost, dream, and envision new realities.

Zemula Barr is an artist and curator based in Chicago, Illinois. Before moving to Chicago, she served as Exhibitions Director at Blue Sky Gallery and co-founded Wolff Gallery in Portland, Oregon. Zemula uses digital and analogue photography to explore themes of memory, loss, and our relationship to the natural world. Most recently, her work has been exhibited at Perspective Gallery in Evanston, IL; in the 2022 PhotoMidwest Biennial in Madison, WI; and at Lightbox Photographic Gallery in Astoria, OR; and Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg, OR. In 2022, she was selected as one of Photolucida's Top 200 Critical Mass Finalists.
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