Del Kathryn Barton

Del Kathryn Barton: of her own nature

Del Kathryn Barton “of her own nature”
Exhibition dates: May 23 – June 4, 2023
Opening: Tuesday 23 May, 5 – 8 pm
Venue: The Pavilion Gallery, Cromwell Place, London
Arndt Art Agency (A3) is delighted to announce Del Kathryn Barton’s debut solo presentation of works in London entitled “of her own nature” at Cromwell Place. As a two-time Archibald winner—Australia’s most prestigious portrait painting prize—Barton is celebrated as one of Australia's leading contemporary artists. In addition to being widely acclaimed within the visual arts for her painting practice, she is also a critically acclaimed film director. Her varied artistic oeuvre—that also includes collage, sculpture and textiles—embodies complexly layered and highly populated surfaces that aim to invoke a sense of euphoric, inimitable expression via her exuberant and psychedelic aesthetic.

Through her works Barton invites audiences into an imaginative and deeply sensuous realm, where ornately decorated human and animal species are rendered in expressive line and vibrant colour. “of her own nature” comprises a new suite of major large-scale paintings alongside a curated selection of prints and the artist’s animated film “The Nightingale and the Rose” (2015)—a remarkable adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 19th century classic.

Each painting within the show exists as its own entity, containing unique figures with individual states of being. Collectively the pieces aim to interrogate notions of femininity, creation, and the divinity of the cosmos in dialogue with each other. From Barton’s perspective, the world is vivid and unbidden. Its creator is the mother, the maker, the birther. Its inhabitants are she-beasts, existing in warrior states. All that is asked of the viewer when entering the gallery space is to come with eyes wide open, brain wide open, and heart wide open. To leave preconceived notions and expectations at the door with the possibility of being rewarded by an uncompromising, universal and unbending truth.

The figures depicted in her pieces exist as expressions of Barton’s inner world. Female-presenting figures rise from bodies of water, as phoenixes from fire, surrounded by fantastical flora and fauna as they arrive in their authentic, full life force. Technicoloured serpents slide across the works, their rainbow scales capturing a sense of movement across canvas. Corporeal bodies exist in dichotomous dynamics with one another, many examining both interpersonal and internal power structures. Gigantic flowers and all-encompassing webs sit within the space cradling the women and creatures who stare, unflinching, at the viewer and challenge them to look away. The works overflow with the artist’s personal lived experience. They explode with feminine power and vibrate with intoxicating details that sanctify the works. The colours roar, reflective of the mind-altering state Barton describes when perceiving the colours of our own world, in a triumphant, visual onslaught that teeters on the line between jubilation and immense vanquishing.

Exhibition text by Sophie Nankivell
Del Kathryn Barton was born in Sydney in 1972. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales, Sydney, in 1993. In 2015, Barton was awarded an Australian Film, Television and Radio School Creative Fellowship, following her directorial debut of “The Nightingale and the Rose” (2015). Barton is the only woman to have won Australia’s most prestigious portrait painting prize, the Archibald Prize, twice (2008, 2013). In 2017, she held her first major retrospective, “The Highway is a Disco” at the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne. Recent film works have included her short film “RED” (2016) starring Cate Blanchett, and her first feature length award-winning film “Blaze” (2022).

Apart from her visibility as one Australia’s leading female artists, Barton’s work has been successfully presented in international solo presentations at Albertz Benda, New York (2019) and Los Angeles (2022), in the USA, in addition to curated exhibitions at UNTITLED Miami art fair (2018) and Asia Now Paris art fair in France (2018). Other recent, important solo presentations include: “the women who fell to earth”, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2022); “i wanted to build a bed for all the tired beds”, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney (2019); “RED”, The Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (2017); “Del Kathryn Barton: The Nightingale and the Rose”; The Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne, Australia (2016); and “the highway is a disco”, ARNDT Gallery, Singapore (2015).
Enquiry Form

By submitting this form you will be added to our mailing list. Send Enquiry In order to respond to your enquiry, we will process the personal data you have supplied to communicate with you in accordance with our Privacy Policy. You can unsubscribe or change your preferences at any time by clicking the link in our emails.