Another horribly busy day today … and boring because it’s been all about admin. However, needing a few minutes escape, I did take some time to look up the Australian artist, Del Kathryn Barton whose work I saw recently in a magazine.
On first viewing, I thought she might be an outsider artist – the level of detail in her work, the imagery and construction seemed to bear comparison with some of the outsider art I have studied. But, no.
From Art & Australia online, in a piece on emerging artists, they say of her:
Del’s work has a strong foundation of drawing, although she has recently begun to work with painting. She cites artists Kiki Smith, Louise Bourgeois, John Currin and Shirin Neshat as influences, as well as the drawings of Henry Darger, botanical art and fabric design. Her early works featured Egon Schiele-like drawings of naked female bodies entwined with rabbits (which appear repeatedly in her work) but also birds and native animals. The explicit nature of the drawings – with the female genitals depicted in detail and the animals often emerging from the figure’s body – have frequently been read as pornographic. However, rather than intentionally explicit or titillating, the drawings are the product of Del’s interest in the relationship between humankind and nature. She sees a spiritual presence residing in the natural world and is concerned with the effect of this on humankind’s physiological and metaphysical existence.
In her work … the depiction of the naked female form has given way to a fascination with the world of children. These detailed, colourful compositions utilising both drawing and painting portray young girls and occasionally boys. The children seem to occupy an imaginary world, surrounded by foliage, abstract shapes and patterns as well as Del’s familiar birds and rabbits. But while the works allude to the innocent, imaginative world of children, the direct, steady gaze of each child implies a certain knowingness or wisdom. The fluidity between the real and the imaginary is a central concern of Del’s practice.
Del Kathryn Barton (born in 1972) studied at the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales in Sydney, and since 1995 has participated in a range of solo and group exhibitions. She currently lives and works in Sydney where she is represented by Ray Hughes Gallery. In Melbourne she is represented by Karen Woodbury Gallery.
Del Kathryn Barton’s current work is to be found at the Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery in Sydney. if you like her style, take a look and let me know if you like …