Barbara’s work is highly spiritual in nature and explores universal themes of loss and healing, of longing, despair, and isolation, and also of hope, joy, peace, and love. Mindful of the interconnectedness of the universe, she blends the human and natural worlds to find compassionate expression of the range of human emotional experiences. Her inspiration flows intuitively from her heart and she sees her role as an artist as being one that requires her to put aside her ego so that the messages of her spirit can flow freely. Her work follows its own rhythms and tempo and is itself an ongoing spiritual journey.
Barbara was born and raised in New Zealand before immigrating to Canada in 1972. She has lived in Vancouver, Ottawa and, for the last eight years, in Almonte, Ontario. She has graduate training in Mathematics and Psychology and has pursued careers in university teaching and consulting. Artistic expression was discouraged in her home and for many years her love of fabric was expressed pragmatically in sewing her own clothes and knitting her own socks and sweaters. Her artistic journey began as she explored her love of color in quilting. Restricted by the confines of traditional quilting she began to design her own wall hangings. Her work focused on themes found in nature until a life crisis left her struggling with the effects of childhood trauma. Through therapy she began her own spiritual journey of recovery and her work reflects this journey in her exploration of the range and evolution of human emotional experience. She considers her work to be highly intuitive. Her creativity is not a deliberative process. Rather she responds to titles and/or images that come to her unbidden and trusts that her spirit will guide her to the finished product. With this orientation she does not work to schedules or deadlines. Instead she indulges her passion for observing people and their experiences, and waits for her heart to distill her observations in readiness for her next piece.