Anna Barriball’s practice examines very ordinary everyday objects and materials, whose presence, function and resonance she scrutinises and records with an acute mixture of subtlety and rigour. Using often very straightforward means her work achieves a beguiling authority, which is so much more than the sum of its parts.
The central piece in this exhibition is made from second hand curtains – chintzes and repeat patterns which feature images of flowers and other types of vegetation. Barriball has cut the leaf shapes from the material and scattered them across the gallery space. Some are naturalistic whilst others are stylized in form, and although liberated from their original pattern they retain a very tangible sense of interior domesticity while suggesting exterior space. This work explores many of Barriball’s fascinations such as the found object, representation, and materials or ideas that contain seemingly contradictory qualities.
Also on show are a number of works on paper. These drawings are created using a variety of different media and techniques. A small pencil-on-paper rubbing of a decorative sunrise stained-glass window is intensely worked. The colour and luminescence of the original object is replaced by an impenetrable graphite sheen. A series of large-scale drawings have been made using a very fine cotton paper which has been placed against a brick wall, saturated with silver coloured ink and left to dry leaving the wall’s rough trace on this delicate and alluring surface.