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Del Kathryn Barton

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Harriet Geater-Johnson

on 27 October 2015

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Transcript of Del Kathryn Barton

Del Kathryn Barton
Themes in Del Kathryn Barton's Work:
Del Kathryn Barton was born in 1972, in NSW Australia.
Far from the bustle of the city she grew up on a rural goat farm in rural NSW, outside of Sydney.

- She studied at the College of Fine Arts of the University of New South Wales, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1993. She was later employed at the College as a lecturer
Artistic Career
- She has held numerous solo exhibitions in Sydney and Melbourne since her first in 1995. She won the Archibald Prize for portraits in both 2008 and 2013.
She is represented by the RoslynOxley9 Gallery in Sydney.

Painted in 2008 with her two children, Kell and Arella
Barton states:
"this painting celebrates the love I have for my two children and how my relationship with them radically informed and indeed transformed my understanding of who I am."

What formal elements has Barton used to create a sense of childhood innocence?
What can you discuss about the composition of her work?
What might this say about her relationship with her children?
Hugo is a portrait of Australian actor Hugo Weaving.
Barton has extensively used symbols within this work.
Many of which were developed over her interviews with him pre-painting.
E.g. the generic wild cat for example is the animal Hugo says he most identifies himself with.
The orange leaves that frame him are leaves of the lilli pilli tree, which Hugo recently planted in his garden again reinforcing themes of nature, along with the green and blue patterns in the background
Barton said "I hoped to portray a deep, sincere, generous and creative soul"

How has Barton made Hugo the focal point?
Discuss in relation to aesthetic qualities?

You are what is most beautiful about me, 2008, watercolour,
gouache and acrylic on canvas
Del Kathryn Barton,
what i am also, 2013,

synthetic polymer paint and gouache on polyester canvas, 243 × 183cm
Question 1: Describe what you can see in this painting?
Question 2: a. How has the artist used colour?
b. What mood does the colour create?
Question 3: What possible symbols might there be in this painting?
Nature and botanical imagery
as suggested by sprite like hybrid creatures that often appear in her work.
Human kind
, and our relationship with the natural world
Feminism, motherhood and the role of women in society.
Fertility and sexuality
although often figures are fairly 'androgynous.'
- often this pays homage to ancient crafts undertaken by women. Such as textile design, weaving, embroidery.
Women's opinions of their bodies
Del Kathryn Barton - Background information
Activities Related to '
what i am also.'

Activity one:

Part A:
Create a table which looks like the circle diagram you are about to see....

For each element make a list of descriptive words, to describe this visual element within the work - you have four minutes!!

Part B:
Create a list of words to describe the mood/feelings this work creates for you.
Head your list MOOD - you have two minutes.

Part C:
Draw from your descriptive words table and create a paragraph that discusses the overall mood this work creates for you, use reference to your art elements - you have five minutes.


Wilderness Exhibition, Balnaves Contemporary.

Artist Profile
Archibald Prizes
Hugo, 2013, watercolour, gouache and acrylic on canvas
Materials and Techniques

Barton’s has a style reminiscent of a working illustrator, particularly her paintings, explore a vast array of colour schemes, linear marks and patterns. She uses a large variety of materials, often mixing synthetic polymer paint, gouache, watercolour, pen, glitter and sequins.

As her drawings and paintings show she is obsessed with detailed mark making, this represents a huge amount of time. Marks are intricate from tiny dotting, to details such as veins on leaves, and every feasible texture between, are visible.

She has been interviewed as saying she never plans on paper, and often her patterns and compositions come together by themselves, as if doodling with a zentangle.

Barton is often referred to as having an aversion to blank canvas? How is that evident in her work?

from her nest in the holm-oak tree the nightingale heard him, 2011
acrylic, gouache, watercolour and ink on polyester canvas
173 × 153cm
Discuss the dominant elements and principles in this work?
Linear and intricately patterned shapes and figures
Mixed media, and layering processes are employed.
Explosive use of colour and vibrant arbitary (unrealistic) colour schemes.
Further examples of Barton's work:

Art Elements - Descriptive Word Bank

Activity two:

What are the key themes and ideas in this work?
Write a narrative to explain what this work is about. This is to be entirely from you? So what do you think? Be as imaginative as you like, will you name these characters, is your narrative about them, or the place in which they live? But remember to refer to actual parts of the work in your story.

You should write two paragraphs at least you have 15 minutes.

Activity three:

Get Looking and making!!

Form a circle shape with your hands, come up to the work on the projector and move your 'viewfinder' hands around until you find a part of the image that you like best. Consider the intricacy of the patterns, the textures and colours.
Then use a variety of materials to explore the creation of your own patterns that reference the work of Barton. Consider you choice of colours, the type of marks you will use and how you will use your materials in order to do so.

You have 30 minutes for this!!
what i am also
Egon Schiele
1880 - 1918

Arthur Roessler, 1910, Painting - oil on canvas
Crescent of Houses, 1915, painting, 44' x 55'
I will gladly endure for my art and my loved ones,1912, Brush, watercolor, pencil, on prepared Japan paper, 20' x 16'
Self Portrait as St. Sebastian, 1914, Indian ink and opaque, 67 x 50 cm
Blind Mother, 1914, painting - oil on canvas, 99.5 x 120.4
The Friends, 1918, lithograph, 68'' x 53''
Portrait of an Artists Wife, seated, holding her right leg, 1918, Oil on canvas, 54 7/8 x 43 in.
Seated couple, 1915
Watercolor, pencil, and embrossing
51.8 x 41 cm
Albertina, Vienna
Question 1

Looking at Egon Schiele’s Seated Couple (1915), what do you notice?

Compare the
to each other.
How would you compare their
facial features
What is similar or different about their body language and the proportions of their bodies?
5 minute task
Question 2
This work was painted shortly after an important moment in Schiele’s life. In 1915 he ended a long-standing relationship with his model and girlfriend to marry Edith Harms, who is shown in this work.

The artwork is considered symbolic of his feelings during this time. What might this work mean?

8 minutes
Gustav Klimt,
The Kiss,
1908, oil on canvas,
180 x 180 cm
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, Vienna
No artist was more influential for Schiele than Gustav Klimt, who was known for his large symbolic or allegorical portraits.
Question 3.
similarities and differences
do you see?

Think about:
decorative elements,
and the relationship between figure and environment.

Which artwork do you like better and why?
10 minutes

OK - Volunteers!!!

Schiele’s works often experiment with different perspectives, or points of view. The artist was known to stand on a ladder to draw his models from above (1) or at the top of a tower to depict his cityscapes.

For this activity pair up and together brainstorm several perspectives (from above, below, behind, far away, or close up) from which they could draw each other’s portraits. Then ask them to each make two sketches of their partner or “model” from two different perspectives. What are the challenges of this kind of activity? How can a new perspective change the way the subject appears, the emotion of the painting, and/or the meaning behind it?
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