Barbara Walker

    Barbara Walker was born in Birmingham, England, in 1964. She studied at the University of Central England, Birmingham, and completed post-graduate studies at Wolverhampton University. Her work is informed by the social, political and cultural realities that affect her life and the lives of those around her. Growing up in Birmingham, her experiences have directly shaped a practice concerned with issues of class and power, gender, race, representation and belonging. Her figurative drawings and paintings tell contemporary stories hinged on historical circumstances, making them universally understood and reflecting a human perspective on the state of affairs in her native Britain and elsewhere.

    Walker was the 2020 Bridget Riley Fellow at the British School at Rome. In 2019 she was awarded an MBE in the New Year Honours for services to British Art and in 2017 she exhibited at the 57th Venice Biennale as part of the Diaspora Pavilion. In 2017 she received the Drawing Room Bursary Award and inaugural Evelyn Williams Drawing Award in association with the Jerwood Charitable Foundation. She has previously been an artist in residence at Facebook’s headquarters in London.

    Walker’s recent solo exhibitions include Cristea Roberts Gallery (2022), Turner Cotemporary, Margate (2019), Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (2018), Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (2016), James Hockey Gallery at University for the Creative Arts, Surrey (2015) and New Art Gallery, Walsall (2013). Significant group exhibitions in the UK and internationally include Tate, London; Firstsite, Colchester; Arts Exchange, University of Essex; SCAD, Savannah, Georgia; Somerset House, London; Yale Centre for British Art, Connecticut; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Alan Cristea Gallery, London; MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham; Modern Art Oxford, Oxford; the Drawing Room, London. In 2018 she participated in  the Dakar Biennale, Senegal. In 2020 she took part in the second Lahore Biennale, Pakistan and in 2023 new works are being shown in the Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates.

    Her work is held in private and public collections including the British Museum, London; Government Art Collection, London; Arts Council England, London; Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham; Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry; Wellin Museum of Art, Hamilton College, Clinton NY; and Yale Center for British Art, Connecticut.

    Barbara Walker lives and works in Birmingham, England.




    Barbara Walker: Vanishing Point

    Barbara Walker MBE (b. 1964) talks about her solo exhibition Vanishing Point, the themes, her choice of medium, the importance of scale in her practice.

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