Oils by Valerie Barden
Valerie Barden was born in Buckinghamshire in 1938; she studied at Yeovil College of Art and later read Art History with the Open University. She has been exhibiting professionally since 1994 and a number of her paintings are held in the Bridgeman Art Library.
Barden’s work fits into the genre known as paintings of ‘Modern Life’ first explored at the end of the C19 and beginning of the C20. Although painted in a figurative manner, the qualities of abstraction and flatness specific to modern painting and the subject matter place them in contemporary context. This group of paintings are all about contemporary figures in different public, indoor spaces, all there for the purpose of looking at things.
People in galleries is a subject which has been treated by various artists in the past, which may have been in her subconscious, but she says she came to the subject simply by sitting for long periods in art galleries (and shopping centres) and thinking of pictures she could make of people standing or sitting fairly still in front of static paintings and objects, of the correspondence between viewer and exhibits, or simply figures as contrasting shapes against interesting architecture. These shapes, or ‘disegno’ in painting are her main interest, together with, the ever present challenge, of making colour ‘work’.
Open 10.30-4.30pm each day, free admission.