JJ Barrett

← Return to Colossal Wait: 2022 Senior Art Exhibition



I document events in my life, both staged and organic, which stir up emotions in the viewer while creating a discomforting sense of reflection. My work stems from my own inner dialogue and overlapping emotions, from confusion and anger to peace. There is a sense of discovery in my work, be it internal, physical, spiritual, literal, or any other -al that fits. I am interested in exploring the notion of rage and how society engages with this emotion. Creating from that place takes on different forms for me, and I find a certain beauty and growth can come from such a historically negative feeling.

I am fascinated with the interactions that occur between the real world and the world inside our minds, both individual and collective. Working with a variety of media allows me to experiment with materials, which pushes me to research and discover different ways to express ideas I am interested in. I am fascinated by the way the mind propels society and culture forward, yet it can also fall victim to depression, anxiety, and trauma. Often, this dichotomy can be experienced in the same moment. Combining my photographs with found images, video, and my own music pushes me to engage with my ideas and creativity in multiple ways. Exploration of oneself in the context of a greater system aligns with the act of researching culture and the ways people think. I take inspiration from people who dismantle and reassemble the institutions that tower over those who cannot see them, and those who know these systems all too well. I am creating from both observation and admiration, and I am yearning for knowledge and conversation.


Back to top