Amber Barney-Nivon is a mixed media artist who uses whatever media necessary to delve deep into her ongoing fascination with the unknown “stuff” that binds us to one another and the natural world. She chooses media that best suit her inquiries into this exploration—anything from crystals, metal, wood, glass, and acrylic to found objects like empty pill bottles and injection needles to large sheets of polyethylene and discarded wedding dresses.
Barney-Nivon was born in 1982 in Vallejo, a suburb of San Francisco, CA. Her Mormon parents moved her family to a small town in Utah where she attended junior high and high school. Seeking new perspective, Barney-Nivon moved to Seattle in 2009 and a couple years later decided to pursue a BFA at the University of Washington, graduating in 2016--A decision that has greatly shaped her intellectual and creative life.
Some difficult years in her teens led Barney-Nivon to question religious authority and at age 17 she decided to leave the Mormon religion. Since then she has grappled with a host of inquiries into the world outside of religion: anywhere from her identity as a woman within a patriarchal context, to big unknowns, like her place in space and time. This sparked an interest in science and, especially, art because of the permission it gives to observe and express phenomena outside the bounds of well-defined belief systems. Through this process, Barney-Nivon has found ways to make peace with her perception of the enigmatic Universe, but continues to question her understanding, allowing for infinite possibilities in her process.