Joan of Arc, 1412 – 1431, 2021 | Gel pen and coloured pencil on Bainbridge cold pressed illustration board | 54 x 60cm.

Candace of Meroe, circa 322 BC, 2021 | Gel pen and coloured pencil on Bainbridge cold pressed illustration board | 54 x 60cm.

Ned Kelly, 1855 – 1880, 2021 | Gel pen and coloured pencil on Bainbridge cold pressed illustration board | 55 x 61cm.

Barbara Chalk

Barbara Chalk is a visual artist, illustrator and designer based in Adelaide. Born in Zimbabwe she now resides in Adelaide working from her studio in the Adelaide Hills.

She creates meticulously beautiful drawings which, upon closer inspection, reveal thought provoking social issues.
Barbara works in a variety of mediums; from pen and ink, graphite and coloured pencil, charcoal, ballpoint pen, oils and acrylic, to digital and assemblage art.

In most of her work Barbara portrays aspects of the human psyche using allegory and symbolism to create visual narrative.

HEROES, HEROINES AND HARES – Works on Paper.

In this suite of drawings – Heroes, Heroines and Hares – I have juxtaposed the seriousness of this topic with the absurdity of replacing horses with hares. I have used the hare in previous bodies of works also with the intention of giving insight and dialogue to topics that might otherwise be overlooked. In this series the hare represents the hero that exists in all of us to pursue those things that we are passionate about.

I intend that the viewer will “unsee” the hare replacing the horse and instead focus on the character on the hare and the mark each has made on the pages of history.

I like to evoke a sense of eccentricity in my work in the hopes of normalising it as well as introducing a sense of humour to more serious issues.

ENQUIRE ABOUT BARBARA’S WORK

BIOGRAPHY

Born and raised in Zimbabwe Barbara trained as a graphic designer and illustrator and worked at a senior level for a prestigious Advertising Agency. Following the turbulent years of a terrorist war and the resulting political turmoil and instability Barbara was able to emigrate to Adelaide in 1990 where she worked freelance as an illustrator and designer, developed a digital platform in landscape design, and worked as an interior designer.

Barbara retired in 2020 and commenced her visual art practice. She works daily in her studio in the Adelaide Hills. She has fulfilled numerous commissioned works alongside her own body of work and has been part of both solo and group exhibitions in Adelaide and numerous regional South Australian galleries. In Adelaide she is represented by BMG Art Gallery.

Barbara’s preferred medium is pen and ink. These highly detailed works are inspired by early etched book templates. More recently she has enjoyed combining the controlled intricacies and detail of pen work with the less predictable outcome of using graphite and pastel powders, along with torn paper templates and pianola scripts to create gentle ethereal backgrounds in some of the works
Her meticulously beautiful drawings, though quirky, sometimes reveal dark and thought provoking undertones.

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