Tibetan Cowboy is a hugely successful image but much more, it is a skillfully constructed picture. There are elements that reference an understanding of landscape and figuration that span the history of picture making in western art.

Jeremy Diggle, Professor of Fine Art, University of Plymouth

BARRY CAWSTON

Born: 1966 in Bournemouth, UK

Bio: Barry Cawston’s fine art photography has recently toured museums in Spain and Portugal as well as being shown at the Marble Palace in the Russia Museum in St Petersburg, as an outdoor presentation in Oldenburg, Germany and as a major exhibition in Völklingen Ironworks.

Cawston has won numerous awards and competitions including in the British Open Art awards in 2012 and 2013, the Exeter Contemporary Open, which he won in 2007, and the Chairman’s Choice Award at the RWA Photographic Open 2008 and the South West Art Prize 2010. In 2011 his piece the “Tibetan Cowboy” was a star feature of BBC2’s Show Me The Monet. He is regularly commissioned by English Heritage and by international charities.

High-rise communal living was once seen as a great step forward for mankind. Barry Cawston’s Tenement series captures the individual within the collective. By focusing on the repetitive structure it is the anomalies that become apparent and revealing. The images straddle the boundary between abstract and documentary. They drift from an examination of the relationship between colour and structure to reveal details of individuals’ lives.

Much of Barry Cawston’s photography has both sociological and architectural elements. Ranging from breathtaking panoramas through his own work and reflections on artist Banksy’s artistic interventions. He is currenty working on a body of work in Russia which as taken him from Moscow to the Urals to Archangel and beyond. His images capture the beauty of otherwise passed over places with a cinematic quality enhanced by Cawston’s subtle use of light and observation of detail. His work is held in several notable private collections.

Barry Cawston completed a Sociology Degree at Leeds University before studying photography at Leeds Polytechnic in 1989 where he was inspired to follow a number of photographic disciplines which have continued throughout his career.

Below is an extract from Proof Magazine about Cawston’s photography at the Exeter Contemporary Open.

The winning artwork is a photograph. It is a hugely successful image but The Tibetan Cowboymuch more, it is a skillfully constructed picture. There are elements that reference an understanding of landscape and figuration that span the history of picture making in western art. The artist subliminally makes parallel visual connections between works of artists as diverse as Piero de la Francescio, Giotto, Fra Angelico, Edward Weston and later contemporary artists such as Andreas Gursky. In making the selection for the exhibition and ultimately the overall winner, the judges were unanimous in their recognition of this work’s outstanding qualities.

Jeremy Diggle, Professor of Fine Art, University of Plymouth

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