Hedwig Barry
seeding (Night V)
mixed media on paper

R7 800.00 (framed)

Part of Barry’s Night series, seeding (Night V) is a nocturnal scene that invites different interpretations depending on the orientation the viewer chooses for the work. In the orientation presented here, the deep black background evokes both the night sky and the blackness of the earth at night, while the coloured pastel marks suggest stars in the sky or seeds in the soil. 

The work is executed on a torn piece of heavy, highly absorbent Hahnemühle paper which has been drenched in industrial black enamel paint. This technique produces the rich tone of the background, which offsets the bright flecks of pastel that suggest stars and seeds. In working on a piece of paper which many would consider a throwaway scrap, Barry exercises an ethics of repair and retrieval which emerges throughout her practice. 



Hedwig Barry (b.1969, Bloemfontein) is an artist working at the intersection of the visual arts, arts education and research. Her drawings, paintings and sculptures are grounded in a rich conceptual terrain that articulates a feminist politics of love and desire in artistic practice, and in society at large. Probing the metaphor of “grounding”, and of “groundlessness,” Barry’s work explores the grounds we walk on and live in. She asks how we teach and learn, how and whom we include, and what we make along the way. A long career as an educator, facilitator, producer and collaborator, across artistic disciplines, has led her to a dedicated studio practice embedded in the processes of drawing, painting, sculpting and writing.

In 2020 Barry graduated cum laude from the MA Fine Arts programme at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg, with a project titled “Pedagogies, Desires and Practices, the perplexing spaces of teaching and learning”. Also in 2020, through a collaboration between Wits and BMW, she was commissioned by BMW to create two large-scale outdoor interventions for the BMW campus in Midrand, South Africa. Both commissions - the “Crumple” and “Love Letter for Lost Travellers” were completed in early 2021. Her most recent large-scale public outdoor sculpture, “Crumple (Jeanette Schoon)” is installed on the Keyes Art Mile. These and other current works are about the interface of the personal and the public, the emotional and the intellectual, and the bodies, grounds, materials, desires and gestures which give meaning to these relationships.