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Ink and bubble mixture on found photography
11.4 x 8.9 cm
Courtesy of the artist and Frith Street Gallery Photo: Steve White

Ink and bubble mixture on found photography
11.9 x 7.9 cm

Anna Barriball’s practice comprises a mixture of two and three dimensional works that, through her interactions with everyday objects, playfully scrutinise the parallel languages of sculpture and drawing. Barriball combines simple, ephemeral acts alongside the most labour-intensive techniques. The series Untitled (2004) is the product of mixing ink with liquid soap then blowing the bubbles at found photographs; the results of this simple chance act clearly display the essence of the work’s own making. In contrast, involving a more intense activity, a new piece has been produced by drawing with pencil over an entire sheet of paper to reveal and describe the surface of the brick wall behind.

Barriball’s work emphasises physicality and substance – trying to make sense of matter through process led enquiry. She reveals the relationships and poetic qualities in the most inert, often mundane things. Sometimes her work literally traces the form of physical objects such as Chair (2004) where she has wrapped the fine ribbon used for ballet shoes around the entire surface of a chair.

For Gasworks, Barriball will exhibit a new body of work that includes sculpture, drawing and video. Her recent video work also looks to drawing as a method for investigating forms. In Draw (fireplace) (2005) a large sheet of tracing paper covering a fireplace is sucked in and out, wrapping around the features of the fireplace then expelling the air, causing the paper to inflate. The paper becomes animated and this strange form of respiration is at once ridiculous and mysterious.

There is a catalogue available in the bookshop produced to accompany the exhibition.


Frith Street Gallery