Portrait by Wilford Barrington

Portrait by Wilford Barrington


I grew up in Calgary, and am in the early stages of a painting practice. In my teens and 20s I was active creatively as a musician, touring across North America and playing locally. During this time I got my feet wet with visual art, doing graphic design work for bands and small businesses. I went to ACAD to study drawing and became obsessed with creating with charcoal and paint. I would leave ACAD to work at a commercial sign company, until deciding to pursue my art practise full time. Since making this decision a couple years ago, I have been busy with markets and group shows, as well as 6 solo show opportunities. A highlight for me, was the recent exhibition of 31 of my paintings for the Calgary Stampede Dream Home by Homes by AVI. I’m looking forward to developing my visual style further, and am particularly excited about my plans to get involved with murals in the public art realm. It’s amazing to see Calgary continue to grow as an artistic community, and I’m proud to be a part of it. 


My work is meant to evoke an energy and illusion of movement: To be busy but balanced. Sometimes the drawings are maps, maybe variations of a person. Sometimes I am creating a scene. As I continue to develop my visual language and symbology, I hope to find gestures that are in some way universal. There is something fundamentally human about making art. The mystery of it all keeps me coming back to explore it again and again. Making images in this way creates a closeness to an instinctual region in the brain that I am interested in fostering. With each piece, I want to find that Goldilocks zone where we can celebrate the material and nature of paint and charcoal, as well as interpret the symbols and subject matter to enjoy that metaphor. I am particularly interested in the work being metaphoric of the mind. The city for me is a good metaphor for the mind / brain / body trichotomy; having different buildings to stand for the different areas of the brain. Its life perhaps an emergent quality, which is not quite the sum or the parts. Or maybe there is some 3rd base element not yet empirically defined? The crowd series in particular, is a celebration of the community of self, and the spirit of interconnection.