September 27, 2011 - MK Gallery - Anna Barriball
September 27, 2011

Anna Barriball

Anna Barriball, “Untitled,” curtain fabric, 2008.
Courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery, London.

Anna Barriball

29 September, 6–10pm
All welcome

900 Midsummer Boulevard
Milton Keynes
+44 (0) 1908 676 900
info [​at​]

Anna Barriball’s first major survey exhibition at MK Gallery, brings together drawing, video, photography and sculpture made over the last decade. Barriball’s early work often involves transforming ordinary items: Bag drawing, 2000, a disposable, white plastic bag is completely covered with red marker pen to create a glowing, concentrated object, while Money drawing, 2000, a five pound note coated in gold ink, accentuates the creases made from daily handling. Barriball also records her surroundings at home or in the studio, by making an impression of floorboards, brickwork, windows and doors by meticulously tracing their surfaces with pencil on paper. Hovering between photography, drawing and sculpture, this process enables the artist to document sections of the world, while magnifying the incidental details, revealing textures created by gradual, everyday wear and tear.

At the same time, Barriball’s work often evolves from spontaneous, if not accidental, discoveries, channelling natural forces with little or no physical contact. Large drawings become substantial sculptures as paper is allowed to curl during the drawing process and a video, titled Draw (fireplace), 2005, records a sheet of tracing paper sucked in and out of a fireplace by a draught, as if a building is breathing.

A series of works is created by blowing bubble mixture with ink over old black and white family photographs found in a market; a new image is created as each bubble bursts, echoing the shutter of a camera. A sequence of nocturnal flash photos of windows, looped on a monitor, provide momentary glimpses of the artist’s presence in reflection while a large, framed, blown up detail from a found photograph shows mysterious and ambiguous figures staring out through a mottled window. This patina recurs in another enlarged photograph, this time placed on the floor, as a pathway leads sharply into the undergrowth, opening up a potent space for the imagination. Both claustrophobic and evocative, a new work, Barrier, 2011, covers an entire wall; the familiar translucent colours of windbreaks are dulled by black marker pen whose saturation alters as old pens run dry and are replaced by fresh ones.

Whether capturing specific instances or conjuring hazy memories, Barriball’s work combines intense, concentrated moments with slight, playful gestures, highlighting the fleeting moments and discreet surroundings that witness our passage through time and space.

Exhibition organised in collaboration with The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh. Exhibition to be presented at The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh 20 Jan–1 Apr 2012.

Artist Information
Anna Barriball has had solo exhibitions at Frith Street Gallery (2009), Walsall Art Gallery (2006), Gasworks Gallery, London, Newlyn Art Gallery (2005) and Arnolfini, Bristol (2003). Barriball’s work was included in the British Art Show 6 at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and its subsequent tour and is also featured in Phaidon’s major publication Vitamin D, a survey of contemporary drawing.

Co-pubished by MK Gallery and The Fruitmarket Gallery. Texts by Fiona Bradley, Director of The Fruitmarket Gallery, and art historian Professor Briony Fer. Interview with the artist by Anthony Spira, Director, MK Gallery.

Limited Edition
Silver gelatin print, size 45 x 30 cms. Edition of 100, signed by the artist.

Support from The Henry Moore Foundation. Thanks to Frith Street Gallery, London.
MK Gallery receives core funding from Milton Keynes Council and Arts Council England South East.

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Further information
For press interviews, information or images please contact: Katharine Sorensen, Communications Director, MK Gallery. T: +44 (0)1908 558318 / E:

Anna Barriball
MK Gallery
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