After graduating from Exeter School of Art in 1981 Barbara spent several years working and travelling in India.

During this time she cofounded Khadi Papers, a company specialising in artist’s handmade paper. In 1994 Khadi Papers set up their own paper mill in Karnataka, South India. New papers have been developed here including the Atlas and Great White which Barbara uses in her work.

Since 2000 Barbara has been represented by the Rebecca Hossack Gallery.

She has exhibited widely in Europe, North America and Asia. She has had sell out solo exhibitions in London and New York.

Barbara lives and works in West Sussex and has been involved for 10 years as a volunteer in the community based Partners in Art scheme at Chichester’s Pallant House Gallery.

Barbara Macfarlane by Matthew Sturgis

Barbara Macfarlane is a landscape painter. Through her work she has always striven to depict – and to reveal – the essence of ‘land’. In large scale paintings on handmade paper -using watercolour, oil paint, ink and mark making – she makes sense of the land’s shape, its boundaries, its character, its history.

Two years ago she began a series of paintings that, while using all the painterly techniques of her established practice, borrowed daringly from the methods of cartography. And she applied them to the landscape of the modern metropolis.

The picture plane became tilted to give an aerial perspective, the bold simplifications of map making were adopted to record the busy details of the scene. Working in series, Macfarlane created arresting cityscapes: visions of London, Paris and New York, at once instantly recognizable and totally novel.

Manhattan was reduced to a grid of pigmented blocks, disrupted only by the raw diagonal of Broadway scratched across the surface of the paper. London was condensed to a casket of jewelled shards. Paris was defined by the broad sweep of the island-dotted Seine.

The impact of these works has been electrifying. They have been critically acclaimed (one of the London paintings was given a wall to itself at the 2013 RA Summer exhibition) and hugely popular; there have been sell-out shows in both London and New York.

October 2014