Christine BARRY, Untitled (Self portrait) Enlarge 1 /1

Christine BARRY

Australia born 1954

Untitled (Self portrait) 1986
Collection Title: the series Displaced objects
Materials & Technique: photographs, direct positive photograph

Dimensions: image 50.8 h x 50.7 w cm sheet 60.8 h x 50.7 w cm
Acknowledgement: KODAK (Australasia) PTY LTD Fund 1987
Accession No: NGA 87.962

The daughter of Polish immigrants, Barry explores the significance of place in defining identity in the series Displaced objects. She suggests disjunction and the pull of the past into the present: the picture plane is broken up through the use of collaged fragments of old family photographs, newspaper and magazine cuttings, postcards and flags. As Barry explains, 'The medium of collage' and 'the ad-hoc splashes of paint and sharp diagonals, which reoccur spasmodically throughout the series, read like the effacements of graffiti, associated with "clash" and the "confusion of cultures".' Collage and over painting suggest reconstruction and the re-presentation of existing elements to tell a new story, and this is something that Barry reinforces through the strategy of rephotographing the original collage and presenting it as a uniform image.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra