Barbara Shepard

About Barbara Shepard

I have worked in industry, for public bodies and free lance; both initiating works and to commission. As a young artist I was an illustrator and graphic artist in the music industry. Subsequently I was funded as ‘artist in residence’ by the arts council and public bodies to lead many projects creating: large scale murals, multi-media theatre and educational projects for: hospitals, schools, museums and community groups.

My personal practice work ranges from fantasy themes, abstracted organic forms, landscape and the figure, particularly the nude. Earlier themes are to do picturing the female nude from a female perspective.

My current work is concerned with different aspects of human expression and especially a different face of masculinity. It seeks to re-configure the male in art. I am interested in how this translates into the aesthetics of a pictorial image, creating beauty in composition, colour and mark making.

Taken from a close up perspective, they explore female desire and male vulnerability. The male model is the observed rather than the observer. It isn’t an attempt to do a role reversal and objectify the male but to illuminate aspects of male character little seen on public view. Composed of close up parts of the body, the viewer is invited be drawn into the scene and inhabit the landscape of the body.

The water colours of dance couples are worked from photographs I took of Tango dancers and are intended as starting points for larger paintings. They picture a dramatic display of intimacy. The focus is to do with the emotional quality of connection between the dancers as shown in facial and bodily expression.

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