Barry Johns: Being True to Self

Barry Johns’ background includes having been a lawyer, winemaker, and more recently writer and painter. Between 2015 and 2018 he received tutoring in painting through Art Metro, Christchurch. Prior to this, his interest in art was based on a keen eye for form and composition. Colour too has always been important to him.

Barry is now working on his own, creating paintings that are abstract in style. These works are inspired by the natural world: particularly open landscapes and big skies .His preferred medium is acrylic on canvas. He uses colour, tone and texture to create paintings which challenge the senses and imagination. Barry’s art is an expression of who he is and his personality.

Barry has exhibited on a number of occasions, namely:

  • February , 2018 – Artists of Canterbury – Christchurch Arts Centre Exhibition.
  • June/July, 2018 – Artists of Canterbury ‘ Eclectic Art ‘ Exhibition at the Windsor Gallery where he received the Morant Foundation Award for his work ‘Autumns End ‘.
  • March, 2019 – Joint exhibition with Jenny Phillips at the Baird Gallery, Christchurch under the themed title ‘ Imagine ‘.
  • July- October, 2019 – An invited artist in the themed exhibition ‘ Transience ‘ at the Fo Guang Yuan Art Gallery, Christchurch.
  • July-August, 2019 – An invited artist in the exhibition ‘ Morant and Friends ‘ at Art on the Quay, Kaiapoi.

Barry’s greatest success to date has been to discover his creative side and the opportunities open to him to achieve personal fulfilment as a painter. He strongly believes in his work: that it has meaning and value.

What he has learned through his painting is that artists should be true to themselves and be realistic about what they do and not feel invalidated if any particular work is not recognised. It is beneficial to expose your work to the judgement of your peers and the public: what others think of your work helps you to define yourself as an artist. It is also important to know when a work is finished. Say what you want to say in the painting and then get out. “I firmly believe that success comes through hard work and practice, practice, practice.”