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Yolande Barker

Search terms: painting, acrylic, still life, abstract

About the Artist

Yolande Barker's paintings propose fertility symbols (icons) for a world where making babies has become a science. Using tribal/primitive influence, these works on paper and canvas explore the family of the future.

"Barker presents nine potent works in the hall gallery. She has resurrected ancient deities, stripped them of their old magic and endowed them with new power to create modern icons for medically enhanced fertility and science assisted reproduction. As the Science vs Nature debate about procreation rages, Baker enters the realms of past idols, icons and totems to bring their mysteries into the present. For all its clinical approach and the wealth of information available on IVF, there's still something magical about procreation. Barker has tapped this sense of awe.

Her large oil on canvas images of fertility deities are strong in colour, balanced in pattern, mysterious in imagery and supporting sufficient symbolic content as to invite the lighting of candles or bringing of offerings. Barker's attention to the surface treatment of her work is highly rewarding, one feels she understands the properties of her medium and that the act of painting should be accompanied by rhythmic chanting at the very least. The standing figures with large stylized heads, depict body parts, both inside and out, as abstract motifs. The x-ray design and huge eyes evoke ideas of Aboriginal totems and Wandjina figures. Two exceptions are The Incubator and Pregnancy were the figures have smaller, more human faces. I particularly like the latter as thin arms rest on a circular womb containing a foetus, the typical posture of a woman in her 9th month. Then we notice the 'woman' has male genitals suggesting either this is a pregnant man, or the conception took place in the traditional manner with masculine assistance. Science or Nature?"
To read about Yolande Barker's "Tango" exhibition

Yolande Barker - Seed Pod Yolande Barker - Fish Bowl

Acrylic on board
37 X 36 cm

Acrylic on board
39 X 36 cm


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Page last updated 27 February, 2007