Portrait by Wilford Barrington

Portrait by Wilford Barrington


I am a multidisciplinary artist, with a focus on visual art. 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 with the intention to pursue a design degree, but became obsessed with creating with charcoal and paint. I majored in drawing at ACAD and then went to work at a commercial sign company. I would eventually leave sign making to pursue my art practice 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 a solo show I put together called “Crowded Spirit” where I presented new work at Calgary’s CSpace. This year I have been making new work, and doing research for a conceptual piece as well as training as a peer support worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association.

I’m looking forward to being an ambassador for mental health issues, as well as to continue making work that relates to identity / the mind / mental health. As I continue to grow my visual style, I am particularly excited about my plans to get involved with making art in the public realm.


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. There is something fundamentally human about making art, and 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 fostering and developing. I am particularly interested in the work being metaphorical with respect to the mind. I imagine the mind as a system or grouping - an externalizer of essence. It can manifest in different ways, making things coherent with the conjuring of consciousness. The crowd series in particular, is a celebration of the community of self, and the spirit of interconnection. From far away there is an abstract shape, that can function much like a cloud does. Up close they are personified marks - quick gestures that are each unique, but point to some sort of whole.  

I have recently started working part time as a peer support worker with the Canadian Mental Health Association. It has been an absolutely transformational process, and I'm looking forward to sharing more of my story with mental health going forward!