Barbara Burns began weaving in 1992 after studying interior design and textile and costume conservation at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. In 2003 she took her first tapestry workshops. Burns has studied with several excellent tapestry teachers including Archie Brennan and Susan Martin-Maffei in New York and Pat Taylor at West Dean College in England.
Burns’ newest figurative tapestries exploring sexuality and exposure are influenced by her experience as a burlesque and belly dancer. Often working larger than life, Burns’ images of dancers are accosting. Her previous study of faces represents both historical and contemporary subjects. Burns’ work has exhibited internationally in solo and group shows, winning awards from as far as Serbia and the UK. She teaches and lectures about tapestry and has published writings on the subject.
Burns is currently working on a series of three dimensional tapestries of wearable corsets. The first of which is influenced by the Apocalypse tapestry in Angers France. Burns says: “There is a deep well of connotations to be drawn from the corset and I want my viewer to draw from that well.”