How can you miss something you never had?

  • Baby.jpg
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From a collection of works dedicated to my adoption.

I envision my artistic practice as an infinite spiral as I continue to discover and explore my multifaceted identity as a transracial adoptee. Informing my visual work is the intersection between both imagined and experienced realities — from attempting to trace my origins to embracing the environments within which I have immersed myself. The idiosyncratic narrative I aim to convey is suspended in a field of isolation, loss, and the desire to connect.

Responses (1)

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John Crowther
John Crowther Critic

February 14, 2022

Noelle Barr’s "How can you miss something you never had?" is a profoundly personal painting that touches upon the experiences of many. As someone who was not adopted, I almost hesitated to write about this work for fear that I would not do it justice, but the intrigue and empathy it sparked in me was too much to resist. Culturally we often think of adoption from the parent’s point of view. The conversation usually hinges on how the parents feel about adopting and not how the child feels. Outside of our scientific understanding of the origins of life, we all have considered where we come from; this is a common human concern but far more palpable for those whose birth is shrouded in mystery. Barr conveys the complexity of her feelings with the tranquility of the baby, surrounded by chaotic and mysterious brushstrokes and the familiar "Made in China" inscription hanging over the entire scene. A genuinely touching and thought-provoking work.

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Noelle Barr
Abstract, Abstraction
Painting - Unframed
Acrylic, Oil, Ink, Canvas
60.00 inches wide
36.00 inches tall
3.00 inches deep
3.00 lbs
New York, NY, US