‘Intuitive artist’ exhibiting on Denman Island

The Summer Gallery welcomes emerging artist Francesca Barker — better known to her Denman family and friends as Tachi — Aug. 11.

The Summer Gallery welcomes emerging artist Francesca Barker — better known to her Denman family and friends as Tachi — Aug. 11.

Barker has been creating art on Denman all her life, but this is her first solo show as a multi-media artist. Her exhibit, titled Patterns, includes acrylic landscape paintings, drawings, print works and installation.

Barker describes herself as an intuitive artist.

Her work has several themes and many subjects, and she agrees that it might be the painting equivalent of the literary stream of consciousness technique. She began as a landscape painter but has become concerned with social issues and works to put meaning in her art.

She says her most important themes are the environment and women’s issues, in particular the history and nature of women’s traditional work, and the objectification of women’s bodies and glorification of a particular body type by the media/popular culture. Her subjects also include our inability to communicate with one another, exacerbated by sensationalism in the media and the fragmentation of meaningful issues.

The unifying element in her show is, as her title suggests, the patterns in each of her diverse subjects: patterns in nature such as the repeating forms of light on water; patterns or routines in our daily lives such as feeding a child (which rejoins the theme of women’s traditional work) or reading the newspaper, which rejoins the communication motif.

Barker works with found objects and is an avid shopper at the Denman Free Store and in secondhand stores.

She loves old sewing patterns, and almost all of her pieces have actual patterns transposed onto the canvas or material used; some barely discernible, blended into the background of a landscape painting for example, some more prominently as on one of the panels on a diptych which features a large curved bee and a piece of honeycomb (rejoining the environmental theme). She uses these patterns to add to the meaning and texture of her work.

One of Barker’s paintings features the figure of a man seated on a bench behind a large newspaper. Scattered around the canvas are sensational headlines in Arabic, Greek, Spanish and Sanscrit. Our lack of understanding of the headlines, or most of them, symbolizes our lack of understanding of what is really going on in the world around us and our difficulty in communicating with one another.

In the foreground is a tree — the source of the newspaper — which upon closer examination is actually a large piece of seaweed, bringing us back to the environment.

Barker says she would like people to find their own meanings for her work when they see her paintings.

Her show runs until Aug. 23 at the Denman Island Seniors’ Gallery. Opening night is Aug. 11 at 7 p.m.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Josie Osborne was sworn into the Legislature virtually on Nov. 24. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Mid Island-Pacific Rim MLA Josie Osborne named minister of municipal affairs

The position was previously held by Selina Robinson, who is the province’s new finance minister

The Royal Canadian Legion’s annual Poppy Campaign poppies. This year the fundraising effort was mixed for local legions which have suffered from financial strain due to COVID-19. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Mixed year for local legions during annual poppy campaign

Some find success, some struggle amidst the pandemic

There are more apartments coming for downtown Cumberland, but council wants to look at how to make sure there are rental units available. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland council calls for rental zoning options

Provincial amendments have only allowed communities to consider rental zoning since 2018

Comox and the school district are looking at formalizing a piece of school property for a dog park. Black Press file photo
School District 71, Comox work on formal dog park agreement

The site on unused school district property is already being used by dog owners

Lake Trail Middle school in Courtenay. File photo
Lake Trail Middle School closed due to threat

The credibility of the threat is being assessed and the investigation is being completed

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Light Up parade a no-go, but Ladysmith’s streets are still all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

Most Read