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Barbara Fiore

Barbara Fiore: Baited
May 6th-28th, Delaware Valley Arts Alliance, Narrowsburg, NY

Installation View 3

Hand-built terracotta donuts painted with casein
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Bear Beware!
Bear baiting is a method of hunting where doughnuts, garbage and other high caloric delights are dumped in the same spot for bears to find. The bears return again and again looking for the sweet treats. The hunters return too. At present, bear baiting is legal in 11 states.

I first learned about bear baiting while visiting my brother in Maine. We went for a walk in the woods and came across a pile of old, stale doughnuts laid out in a clearing. At first, I was delighted by the visual of bears eating doughnuts in the night and was horrified when I learned of the sinister reality that was waiting for them. It was a strong visual that has stayed with me and a powerful metaphor of the duality of our world.

I have always been inspired by the physical and visual world of animals, nature and people and how we are all related and how we interact – the good, the bad and the ugly. With humor, I use animals to examine what makes us human and what reminds us we are also animals. By anthropomorphizing animals and vice versa I explore who we are, our emotions and our relationships.

In "Baited", a bear conjures up a dream of doughnuts – a tantalizing, sweet and delicious opiate that in reality may be fraught with peril. The doughnuts of "Baited" represent frivolous and easy temptations that lead us down paths of distraction. When we try to tune into the greater universe, sometimes all we get are doughnuts.

Delaware Valley Arts Center, 37 Main Street, Narrowsburg, NY, and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm.

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All images Copyright © Barbara Fiore 2016