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elizabeth barden

Artist: Elizabeth Barden

Born: 1965, Australia

Nationality: Australian

Movements: Contemporary Figurative Realism

Most Prominent Works:

○ Waiting For Zipporah (2002),

○ Mermaids Make Waves (2019),

○ Jaya’ism (2019).

Mediums: Painting

Training:

○ Art Teaching, major in Painting and Drawing, Queensland.

Significance

Elizabeth Barden is a contemporary figurative artist best known for her portraits. Her work is represented in the permanent collection of the Australian National Portrait Gallery, in Canberra, with the portrait of indigenous performer Christine Anu, Waiting For Zipporah (2002). The artist made several appearances in collective exhibitions, both nationally and internationally, and also had two solo exhibitions in a public gallery, the Cairns Gallery, Australia. Elizabeth’s work is featured in several public collections including: Emmanuel College, University of Queensland, the Cairns City Council and the Cairns Gallery. The artist has made a very good impression in many award exhibitions, having been a finalist in the Portia Geach six times, and a finalist in many others, including the Lester Prize and the inaugural Darling portrait prize. In addition, Elizabeth was selected as one of 78 women artists to exhibit in ‘Women Painting, All Over the World’ 2021, at the European Museum of Modern Art, in Barcelona, and will have digitalised images of two artworks landing in a time capsule on the Moon late 2021.

Waiting For Zipporah (2002)

art

Elizabeth’s artistic training was formed at Queensland University of Technology, in Art Teaching, with a major in Painting and Drawing. During this time, she was awarded Best Graduating Student.

The artist creates her work around the stories of people through portraiture, with the intent of giving them a voice. As Elizabeth claims herself, “I regard myself as a storyteller”, her work revolves around telling people’s stories, their lives and their backgrounds. By painting portraits, the artworks give a voice to her subjects. It is, as she refers, ‘the human condition’ that the paintings evoke. Placing empathy at the core of its storytelling (the emotion the artist believed to be the core of our humanity), it is conveyed and carried through the work, speaking to the lives of those who live and to those who are yet to be born.

“The paintings refer to our human condition, the empathy which is at the core of our humanity, and that empathy is conveyed to the living or generations yet to be born.”

She also explores human relations, celebrating people who have accomplished great things in their fields and communities. And as Elizabeth putts it:

“This visual storytelling contributes to who we are as people, to gather knowledge and inspiration that contribute to how we speak, feel and respond to the human condition.”

Elizabeth is a figurative realist artist, mostly working in oil paint on linen, and occasionally uses water-based mediums and ink as well.

influences

The artist’s first contact with art was through books. As she tells, her first book, gifted to her, featured Renoir. This awakened the spark in Elizabeth, who, since that moment, became very much influenced by the light and colour of the Impressionists. A great influence was Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergere (1882, a painting that greatly captivated her ever since a young age. 

A Bar at the Folies-Bergère (1881-1882) by Édouard Manet

Initially, the artist pursued a more expressionist style of drawing and painting, as realism was discouraged. However, Elizabeth has always been drawn to people, bodies and faces, and gradually returned to the pursuit of figurative realism. Today her work focuses on exploring classical techniques in her work, whilst bringing them into the contemporary context.

 

quotes

“It comes down to anthropology and how humanity is understood. People will always be interested in people. Art and Culture play a tremendous role in that understanding.”

significant works

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: The Good Girl
Date: 2020
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 83 x 107 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Victoria, Australia

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Kaleidoscope Queen
Date: 2019
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 40 x 40 cm
Location of Creation: Australia
Current Location: New Orleans, USA

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Mermaids Make Waves
Date: 2019
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 45 x 40 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Brisbane, Australia

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Waiting For Zipporah
Date: 2002
Medium: Acrylic on linen
Size: 49 x 42 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia

Current Location: National Portrait Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Seeking Daisy
Date: 2020
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 35 x 30 cm

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Jaya’ism
Date: 2019
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 27 x 35 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Western Australia

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Be Still
Date: 2020
Medium: Oil on linen
Size: 50 x 40 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Wisconsin, USA

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Jaguar
Date: 2020
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 35 x 25 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Barcelona, Spain

Artist: Elizabeth Barden
Title: Warrior
Date: 2018
Medium: Acrylic on linen
Size: 60 x 40 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: South Carolina, USA

Artist: Portrait Of Christine Anu
Title: Garrik
Date: 2002
Medium: Acrylic on linen
Size: 113 x 64 cm
Location of Creation: Cairns, Australia
Current Location: Sydney, Australia