About Michael Barber
My name is Michael Barber and I was born in Simcoe, Ontario in 1967. I’ve been creating ever since I can remember.
The inspiration for my work has come from my life and the lives of people close to me.
Memories and thoughts are never clear and my paintings reflect the layers that hide or protect our past, the things we cherish and the things we’d love to forget. Quite often in life things that are out of our control have such impact on our lives, not physically really but emotionally, things that we will carry with us forever. The good and the bad both weigh us down and fill us up, to the point that there’s no room left. Then one day something happens that forces you to shift things, reposition and prioritize the weight to a more manageable point for the time being.
I paint on mahogany plywood and use a mixed media approach. Resist techniques are used with the paint application. Gouging and scratching is done with various hand tools, shovels and hoes are used to scrape the work and expose the earlier layers to create a sense of time.
The creation of a piece is a very physical activity. I get lost in the painting and struggle between layers, caught in a dilemma of exposure and protection. It’s an exhausting process and yet I find it so satisfying.