In recent years, Catherine Barron has painted on salvaged metal plates, 12-inch Bakelite records, old book covers and vintage photographs, incorporating elements of the surface support into the finished paintings. The work charts the artist's own, very personal story. The imagery is on the one hand situational - with a series of studio-based self-portraits and work drawing on an archive of family photos dating back to the 1950s - and on the other allegorical, as the artist leads us on a confessional and intensely emotional journey through her life.
For Barron, stories are fluid, with no definitive beginning, middle or end - rather they hang within the scaffolding of our existence. "When we want to say something, we pick out and articulate specific details to communicate an experience or a particular meaning. The stories we tell can relay something that has happened, something that is happening, but also something we imagine or hope for. How we tell the story also conveys how we feel about it, how we understand it."
Born in Carlow, Catherine Barron is a visual artist, writer, arts facilitator and creativity researcher. She has won multiple awards for her work, including the Adams and De Veres awards at the RHA annual exhibition and the inaugural Amelia Earhart prize for an Irish female artist (Derry, 2022). She was shortlisted for the Hennessy portrait prize (now Zurich prize) at the National Gallery of Ireland in 2015. Her work is represented in many public and private collections including the National Portrait Collection (University of Limerick), the EPA, the OPW, Fingal County Council, Bank of Ireland, the Department of Education, Carlow Institute of Technology and the Haverty Trust.