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Susan Barnett


Thought Patterns


July 7, - September 16, 2007



Hard Headed, 2007, Acrylic on Canvas, 63 ¾” x63 ¾”


Susan Barnett is a second year Masters of Fine Arts student at the Meadows School of Arts.  Her recent paintings on display in the

Hawn Gallery explore systems of the mind.  Initially this body of work originated with paintings based upon a specialized type of Latin

Square popularized by the Sudoku puzzle.  The properties of a Latin Square result in a balanced repetition of all the elements,

numbers which she translated into symbols.


The addictive nature of Sudoku is in part due to its reassuring properties: known rules and an ultimate “correct” answer.  

It is a “closed end” system.  Over time Barnett began to recognize in these systems the ways in which we organize, reveal and

guard against the inherent chaos of the universe.    

In the process of investigating these ideas, Barnett discovered a type of drawing that describes a distributed network, a way of

insuring that system stress is distributed uniformly so that no one node becomes the focus or center.  She generates these drawings

based on one rule designed to enforce an even distribution: no more than 5 lines intersecting at any one point.   The resulting

drawings are random, “open ended systems” that feel organic.


These drawings in turn developed into ambiguous folded structures that seem to fly across the surface.  In many instances Barnett retains the use of the grid and her system of symbols used in the initial Sudoku paintings as a way of imposing order in the chaos.  



End of the Line, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 63 ¾” x 63 ¾”      Racing Mind, 2007, Acrylic on Canvas, 61” x 61”

Barnett says she is interested in “how we make sense of the world through an endless process of re-
creating meaning and memory, and how we communicate our personal systems of meaning to each other.”