Baby bottles stuffed with candy and toy horses suspended in bright blue Jello — emerging artist Katie Barron aims to delight and confuse with the opening of her first solo show, Odd and Unusual.
Odd and Unusual recognizes spontaneous associations created by our minds throughout day-to-day life by building off what we interact with on a regular basis – food, it speaks to all on a basic level. Lines between what belongs and what does not are blurred through paintings of food and nostalgic objects.
At first glance, the works that constitute Odd and Unusual appear to be photographs; however, upon closer inspection, they reveal themselves as hyper-detailed oil paintings. Subjects of Barron’s work mainly include decadent foods transformed by the addition of an unusual and often uncomfortable element. Painted in vibrant colours with deep shadows on black backgrounds, they are reminiscent of Baroque oil paintings, yet modern and youthful.
“I want to surprise people,” Barron says, “I want to completely defy the expectations of what belongs together. A lot of the foods in my paintings are things that I savoured as a child, and I think the strangeness of the combinations of subjects kind of adds to that child-like appeal. A lot of people will relate to at least some of the pieces; there is familiarity in my paintings even if they are paired with strange additions.”
Katie began oil painting while visiting Australia in 2018 and is entirely self-taught. Though oil painting is relatively new to her, she has been passionate about art from a very young age and experimented with many mediums before settling on oils. Earlier this year, she received Canmore’s 2019 Lamphouse Endowment for the Arts: Emerging Artist Bursary. Her work often includes surreal combinations of food and other simple indulgences.
Barron questions preconceived notions about what we may combine and what should be left separate. Exploring opposing yet harmonious elements in deeply contrasting lighting, she places the spotlight on the strange among us.
“Odd and Unusual” will be opening at 7 PM on August 19th, Katie will deliver her artist talk at 7:30 PM. This event is free and open to the public.