Laura Amphlett + Ryan Barrett
November 17 – December 9, 2017
Opening Reception: Third Friday, November 17, 6-9pm
Artist Reception: First Friday, December 1, 6-10pm


Modified Arts is proud to present the work of Laura Amphlett and Ryan Barrett. Barrett is a Phoenix ex-pat, now residing in Hong Kong, documenting themes of isolation and disconnection through black-and-white film photography in his new home. Amphlett contrasts this with minimalist and very human 2D and 3D works “through the looking glass,” refracting images of desert oases against themselves in a variety of media, with drawing as the basis.

Ryan Barrett
“Snapshots of isolation in physically dense space.”

This set of photos is a straightforward impression of my environment. Commuting around Hong Kong I’m constantly struck by the isolation and sense of loneliness I see on the sea of faces engulfing me. People are physically packed in together like a pen in the slaughterhouse and yet we couldn’t seem more emotionally disconnected. This series of photos is a reaction to the general air of despair permeating the city I live in.

Laura Amphlett
Art to me is something we all produce and look at to make sense of the world, it is how I make sense of the metaphysical world. I believe in the philosophy that art reflects reality, especially when using the intuitive approach that I employ.

My preferred method to creating artwork is to pick a somewhat arbitrary starting point and let the work tell me where it wants to go; to me this is the truest form of expression. Ideas that cannot be actualized in words and exploring the idea of bringing the subconscious to the physical. Making the intangible tangible. Think of the moment in the sleep cycle before one falls asleep, where there is the magic of inhibition and the strangest stream of thoughts form- if you can remember. The in-between conscious and subconscious is how my process works. This is why my personal sketchbooks are the most important for me. I am constantly transcribing these seemingly fleeting thoughts through drawing or collage as a way of remembering, because like dreams, you can lose them so easily. I use these sketchbook images as seeds for future works; there is something so precious and personal about these small works as they are not intended for a specific use they are more pure and uninhibited.

An answer is not always what I am interested in, it is more of the question that informs my work. I find these questions often relating identity, human interaction, and existence. I use found images, textures, and materials in conjunction with personal drawings in smaller scale pieces, which translate well to my 3D works. These drawings often are converted into digital files that I can translate through a machine (laser engraver, vinyl cutter, printer, etc.) and reinterpret or appropriate. These images become symbolic, they form a language that I am continually developing. They are the vocabulary to my work.

Gallery Hours:
Local First Arizona staff:
Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Gallery staff:
First Friday, 6-10 p.m.
Third Friday, 6-9 p.m.
Saturday, 12-4 p.m.
Or by appointment, scheduled by E-mail.

Modified Arts
407 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004