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Celebrating the Arts in North Devon
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DescentIcarus foresees his doomIconMalum (NRA Rules)Messenger of the godsNot long nowStand secure amongst a falling world

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Philip Barnes

Philip Barnes

Artist's Profile

Philip Barnes

I studied Environmental Science and Pollution Control for my first degree and worked in the coal mining industry and as an Operations Director in engineering before deciding to study art in my late 30s. After a Foundation course in Halifax and a Fine Art Degree in Leeds, I completed my MA in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art in 2002. I had exhibited conceptual works either in group or solo shows but after my MA I moved onto other things mostly away from art. We moved to North Devon in 2011, for my wife’s career, and this coincided with an unexpected disability. For me art was always a means of personal interrogation and now I’m in my mid 50s, I have time to return to making art. I decided that I would paint as I had not given it a fair chance through my studies.

Artist's Statement

 My process is deliberately un-planned. I do very little initial thinking about the paintings I am making other than perhaps to select an image of a head or figure to include. I like Roman Sculpted heads and these have provided a useful starting point. I then paint and I respond to how I am feeling and the things I am thinking about as I paint. Other elements of subject are added and then taken out and they are often re-painted many times and completely changed. Acrylic gives me the chance to do this as often and as quickly as I would like. Meaning, if there is any, starts to materialise and the paintings then become something that I recognise have meaning to me and they eventually reach a point where I leave them alone. They are ultimately personal expressions, almost self portraits of a particular point in time. What happens next to them has yet to be seen!