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 Ko-Ax What is Drawing Now?


The pillow drawings 2013 are focused and have evolved around drawing from contemporaneous cultural magazine photographs. Devoted to a linear expression of mark making, the drawing tool has been a needle with graphite thread as medium. Focusing on replicating the repetitive hand movements of sewing to achieve the marks. In the final stage of the process minimal marks with acrylic and pencil are applied.


‘Barker’s memory boxes and pillow drawings of 2012 are based on the artist’s family’s small faded photographs. The artist’s choice to create works out of pillows and needlework immediately links us to dreams and domesticity.

Drawing becomes both an output for dreaming as well as being a very familiar form of expression. The familiarity of the media immediately brings the viewer into the art works. Despite the fact that the initial photographs are autobiographical, the artist leaves the faces blank and invites the viewer to engage in a dialogue about the fragile nature of life, memory, experience and loss.’

Selected by Nathaniel  Hepburn Curator  Ko-ax drawing 2013

‘Objects of Desire’           2014                                                                                                                                                                          Hand stitched thread drawing – acrylic and pencil on cotton pillow

‘Objects of Desire’ reflects the cultural conundrum of being female and continually subjected to the gaze facilitated by modern technology. Sourcing contemporary media images and referencing the dire consequences of alcohol portrayed in Hogarth’s engraving ‘Gin Lane’ (1751), Barker considers historical traditional feminine skills and selects the needle as her linear drawing tool.

The pillow drawings link the strange world we all inhabit in our dreams, where synchronously we experience fact and fantasy. The dreams are interweaved with the familiar domesticity of the pillows connections to birth, sex, illness, comfort and we hope, our death.



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