*Featured photo: Dappled Circle Orange, 81 x 150cm, wool, cotton, linen & embroidery threads. Private collection USA copyright Jo Barker
Jo Barker (b.1963) fiber artist originally from Cumbria, a county of north-west England, graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and currently lives and works in Edinburgh.
The tapestries that the artist designs and weaves by hand are the result of a skilful combination of painting, drawing and weaving. The design phase is fundamental, starting from a drawing made of gestural brushstrokes, spontaneous and not studied, with watercolors, acrylics or ink.
In a second moment the project is scanned on the computer and digitally modified, creating overlaps of color, lights and shadows that form suggestive effects of depth and movement.
It is then during the weaving phase that the work really comes to life thanks to the soft yarns, the wool, the cotton and above all thanks to the artist’s great ability to explore the qualities of light and to materialize them in the weaving, in the meeting of weft and warp, shaping velvety shades of black that act as a counterpoint to layers of shimmering color in a combination that offers a richness and depth of chromatic nuances that enchant. The final image is abstract, deliberately ambiguous and contrasts, as the artist herself declares, with the idea of having to be identified with a specific object or image.
There are numerous exhibitions in which her works have been exhibited, both at home and abroad, receiving awards and prizes such as the Cordis Prize for Tapestry in 2016.
Her publications include the Contemporary International Tapestry, Carol K. Russell – Schiffer Publishing Ltd; Textiles: The Art of Mankind, Mary Schoeser – Thames & Hudson; Tapestry Weaving: Design and Technique, Joanne Soroka – Crowood Press.
Barker tapestries are part of important collections including that of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; The House of Lords, London; National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh; Aberdeen City Art Gallery & Museums; Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle and the Scottish Executive, Edinburgh.
The photos were taken from the artist’s website and are protected by copyright