Hedwig Barry (b.1969, Bloemfontein) is an artist working at the intersection of the visual arts, arts education, and research. Her drawings, paintings, and sculptures are grounded in a rich conceptual terrain that articulates a feminist politics of love and desire in artistic practice, and in society at large. Probing the metaphor of “grounding”, and of “groundlessness”, Barry’s work explores the grounds we walk on and live in. She asks how we teach and learn, how and whom we include, and what we make along the way.
A long career as an educator, facilitator, producer, and collaborator, across artistic disciplines, has led her to a dedicated studio practice embedded in the processes of drawing, painting, sculpting, and writing. In 2020 Barry graduated cum laude from the MA Fine Arts programme at the Wits School of Arts in Johannesburg, with a project titled “Pedagogies, Desires and Practices, the perplexing spaces of teaching and learning”. Also in 2020, through a collaboration between Wits and BMW, she was commissioned by BMW to create two large-scale outdoor interventions for the BMW campus in Midrand, South Africa. Both commissions - the “Crumple” and “Love Letter for Lost Travellers” were completed in early 2021. These and other current works are about the interface of the personal and the public, the emotional and the intellectual, and the bodies, grounds, materials, desires, and gestures which give meaning to these relationships.