Hedwig Barry

South Africa

About the Artist

Working from different locations around South Africa, Hedwig Barry (b. 1969) uses drawing, painting and sculpture to make artworks that explore the politics of love, desire, care, and destruction and repair. Having established a long career as a producer, director and educator across artistic disciplines, Barry undertook to focus on her own artistic practice in 2019 and has since then worked prolifically, producing works for private and public contexts.

Through a language of abstraction Barry explores the metaphors of “grounding” and “groundlessness”, engaging deeply with the historical weight of painting and its ties to nature, empire, modernity and Western aesthetics. She sees her practice as a coming together of the personal and the public, the emotional and the intellectual, and the bodies, grounds, materials, desires and gestures which give meaning to these relationships.

Barry has an MA in Fine Arts (cum laude) from the University of the Witwatersrand (2020), and through a collaboration between Wits and BMW she was commissioned to create two site-specific sculptures for the BMW headquarters in Midrand, South Africa (2021). Her work is included in both South African and international private collections, with her first institutional acquisition being the large-scale outdoor public sculpture “Crumple (Jeanette Schoon)” (2021), incorporated into the Constitutional Court of South Africa Art Collection in 2022. In 2023, Barry showed with Guns & Rain at RMB Latitudes Art Fair, Johannesburg, and at ARCO Lisboa, and presented a solo exhibition, Unrest.

Explore Barry’s catalogue for the Investec Cape Town Art Fair 2024.

Exhibitions

  • 2023 Unrest, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg (solo)
  • 2023 ARCO Lisboa, Guns & Rain, Lisbon
  • 2023 RMB Latitudes, Guns & Rain, Johannesburg
  • 2022 Here is Where We Meet, Nirox Sculpture Park, Johannesburg (solo)
  • 2022 Time is a Broken Umbrella, KZNSA Gallery, Durban
  • 2022 Spier Light Art Festival, 2022, Cape Town
  • 2022 Time is a Broken Umbrella, AVA Gallery, Cape Town
  • 2021 Art + Life, Mezzanine, Johannesburg (in collaboration with FORMS Gallery)
  • 2021 Divided Self, Kalashnikovv Gallery, Johannesburg
  • 2021 Emergence, (online), FORMS Gallery

Collections

  • BMW South Africa
  • Constitutional Court Art Collection, South Africa
  • BMW Germany

Grants, Residencies and Awards

  • 2023: Recipient, National Arts Council Grant, PEPS 4
  • 2022: Tswalu Foundation, Tswalu Kalahari, South Africa
  • 2021: NIROX Sculpture Park, South Africa

Selected Works

Dayrise

2024
Oil on canvas
120 x 100 cm

Days Falling Backward into Velvet Night

2024
Oil on canvas
80 x 60 cm

To the South

2023
Oil on canvas
122 x 153 cm

To the West

2023
Oil on canvas
122 x 153 cm

Shark Boy

2022
Automotive paint on Aluminium
110 x 210 x 180 cm

The Painting Completed By Fire

2022
Burnt oil and enamel on canvas
33 x 23.5 cm

Element (wind)

2023
Mixed on archival paper
77 x 57 cm

Contour (earth)

66 x 51cm
Mixed on archival paper

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