13 May 2015

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Old Collegian Andrew Barns-Graham is returning to the College one morning per week for six weeks this term to work with our senior painting students.

He will be carrying out painting workshops, working specifically on technique and style, using a mixture of acrylics and oils.

Andrew will also bring in his own work to use as exemplars for the students to base their own technique on.

A fantastic opportunity, the students will have the chance to learn from a reputable artist who has made a successful career out of his art.

When he was younger, Andrew was encouraged not to pursue a career in art by his mother, despite the fact that his father was a talented artist and his grandfather was a war artist. She believed that a more commerical form of art would be a more suitable choice.

So Andrew began working in advertising and graphic design as a commerical artist, and only painted part-time as a hobby. However, the more he painted, the more he wanted to become a full-time artist, so in 2001 he enrolled into Auckland's Elam School of Fine Art.

He completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Elam in 2004, and became interested in the exploration and definition of beauty. Nowadays, he modifies details of his chosen models to produce fashionable paintings. 

“I alter the images to make them a little more ambiguous so that they’re recognisable but you’re not quite sure who they are,” says Andrew. “They could be someone you know; your mother, your next door neighbour, your best friend or you might even find elements of yourself in there.

“I try to find that expression where it’s not too obvious what they’re thinking; there’s something going on but it’s not enough for you to know right away. You’ve got to come in with your own personal background of what it could be."

Andrew currently teaches at the Te Tuhi Centre for the Arts in Pakuranga, as well as a night course at Selwyn College.

His long-term plan is to spend a few years in New York when his daughter finishes school.