Jo Barrett’s paintings focus on still life, capturing the form, light and atmosphere by carefully selected objects and the space they inhabit. Barrett’s paintings have a contemporary, formal approach to the subject while evoking the palette and atmosphere of the Dutch master still life tradition. She has distilled this influence into minimal and structured arrangements, where folds in the tablecloth and diffused forms in the background play an essential role in the final works. This balance of traditional and the now, combined with her meticulous observation of detail, enable her work to stand out from the photorealist genre.
Lighting is key in Barrett’s work. The subtle, shifting tones and colours within interlocking shadows, provide as much substance and compositional structure as the objects themselves. It is from these balanced compositions, that we can then find the finely studied reflections and textured surfaces that bring the objects to life.
Barrett’s contemporary approach to her work, grounded in traditional influences, creates timeless paintings that are simultaneously contemplative and powerful.