Nina Barnini’s digital collages are like mediative visual poetry that give birth to new beauty and meaning, creating metaphors that can not always be put into words, but never fail to evoke feelings.
an article written by Nora Benz
Two years ago, Nina Barnini started making collages - one every day - to share them on her Instagram account. Through consistency as well as trial and experimentation, she developed her very own, unique style which can best be described as visual poetry. By creating her digital collages, she takes on the role of a poet who takes existing images like words and puts them together to a new (con)text. By doing so, she gives birth to new meanings and new beauty as she combines already existing aesthetics that excite and inspire her. Thereby, she creates metaphors many of which can only be felt, but not put into words.
Barnini is driven by beauty as well as her intuition, her sensitivity and her soul. For her, the process of collaging is a way to connect with her soul which then leads her through the creation. Thus, creating collages gives her the opportunity to express what is otherwise invisible and hidden within herself. Furthermore, it is that everyone finds their own associations and meanings when experiencing her work which generates Barnini’s artistic drive. Through the combination of images, forms and pictures, through experimentation and play, her collages are created. Thereby, she gets excited when noticing that something amazingly beautiful is born in her hands.
As collagist, Nina Barnini works with different media, including paper as well as digital tools. Even though she feels inspired by every media, it is the work with paper which she describes as particularly thrilling and magical. Nevertheless, Barnini also likes to mix paper collages and digital works. Recently, she has started experimenting with video as well as the mix of moving and still images.
Instead of elaborating thoroughly pre-thought concepts, Barnini’s ideas are born during the working process and through experimentation with images. When the collages emerge, she often catches herself feeling a sense of magic - something she calls “perfect happenstance”. She describes it as becoming a conductor of the creative flow that drives her to find, among the picture cut offs scattered on the table, a finished collage and an unexpected beauty which she could not have created with her mind alone.
As experimentation and the creation through accident play an essential role for Barnini’s work, the main secret of a good composition for her is not thinking about the composition. Consequently, she adjusts her collages according to her feelings which tell her when something is off. She then moves the elements of the collage until she gets a feeling of complete harmony. It is a process throughout which Barnini strongly trusts her feelings, creating collages spontaneously without thinking about what project or theme it might turn into.
Trusting her feelings and being consistent in her work are also what she describes as key elements with regard to the development of her artistic vocabulary. The more she tries and experiments, the more she develops her own style almost like it becomes an extension of herself. Barnini tries to continuously do something new, thereby testing different directions. Those directions that continue to inspire her, stay with her and become hers. For Barnini, paying attention to what inspires her from the outside, being aware of what she sincerely admires, taking action and experimenting is crucial for her own artistic development.
In addition, Barnini points out crises as important ingredient for her development. Whenever she feels no longer inspired and gets tired, she knows that she needs to move to a new level - either a new technique, a new meaning or a new way of self-expression.
The collages of Nina Barnini are the result of experimentation and play, emerging from intuition and sensitivity. By expressing what remains otherwise unseen and hidden within herself, Barnini creates collages like visual poetry that give birth to new beauty and meaning.