The Artists’ Studio is currently blanketed with a layer of charcoal dust as Birmingham-based artist Barbara Walker transforms the space with her large-scale drawings.
Barbara is using her residency to develop her series of drawings which explore how clothing is used by specific groups of men as a status symbol within their communities. Her larger than life portraits, created directly onto the studio walls, depict faceless young men often turned with their backs to the viewer. By obscuring the identity of her subjects, Barbara invites her audience to scrutinise the ‘information’ available – clothing, hair and jewellery – in order to complete the portrait. The works investigate expressions of individuality, conformity and stereotyping – and provoke the following questions: How far are fashion and consumerism responsible for providing the styles that individuals desire? Do individuals take a lead on how they choose to look while fashion and commercialism follow? And what role do the media play in forming public opinion?
Open Studio Event:
Saturday 18 June, 2-4pm. Free all welcome
Join Barbara for a special afternoon viewing of her new work. Barbara will be talking about the work she created throughout her residency from 2.30 – 3.30pm.
Saturday 9 July, 2-4pm. Free all welcome
Raise a toast to Barbara and celebrate the work she has created throughout the residency. Due to popular demand, we’re opening the studio doors once again and offering visitors the chance to see the work for the first time without the obstacles of scaffolding, ladders and mirrors!
Image credit: (main image) Barbara Walker, Same Difference (After Lorna), 2008, charcoal on paper, 2008, 96 x 70cm. Courtesy of the artist.