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I've always approached the making of art as an extension of my own growth and development. When I first attended art college in England (many, many years ago) one of my teachers asked, "What do you have to offer the world of art?" I couldn't think of a thing to say except: "Me." I had no idea where I was going, nor did I have any particular grand vision of what I wanted to accomplish. It seemed that all I had was me. I don't think I even knew me at that time. All I was really aware of was that I was the first male in my family, for many decades, to escape a life in the coal mines.

The art that I have created always reflects me at various points in time--a visual journal, I suppose. It hasn't been consistent in style, form, or technique. I strongly relate to Marc Chagall's remark: "I work in whatever medium likes me at the moment." It's the creation of a piece that excites me. It doesn't matter what medium is used or what the purpose may be. The one thing, however, that has remained consistent throughout my journey is that the piece must make a statement to the viewer. The statement may not necessarily be profound, but it must be clear.

In this series of "Barriefield" paintings, for instance, I wish to show not only my own current physical surroundings but to emphasize the past era in a contemporary age. In our present age of ever-changing technology and social-cultural shape-shifting, our history is a truth that can't be changed, no matter what steps are taken to try to cover it up, or to rewrite it.

JOHN BARRON lives and works in Kingston, Ontario.

Caption: Rome, Capital of Painting installation view (detail). Photo: Paul Litherland.

Caption: Rome, Capital of Painting installation view (detail). Photo: Paul Litherland.

Caption: A Way Back, 2016 All paintings are acrylic on canvas and are 48 inches by 36 inches.

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Author:Barron, John
Publication:Queen's Quarterly
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Mar 22, 2019
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