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Barbara Pratt


Barbara Pratt (b. 1963) was born in St. John’s Newfoundland and is the daughter of Canadian artists Mary and Christopher Pratt. She was raised in the small community of Salmonier in St. Mary’s Bay, and has an arts degree from Acadia University. Known for the photographic precision of her work and her vibrant use of colour, her influences include fashion photography and haute couture as seen in fashion magazines, as well as vintage ribbons, bolts of fabric and such things as tiny wooden drawers filled with buttons. Pratt notes that even paint chips in hardware stores and colour-coded files at the doctor’s office inspire her.

Sometimes, when I’m painting, I ask myself if beauty is enough. Is it all right, for example, to paint purple silk, just because I think purple silk is beautiful? Is it all right to paint a red shoe and green stockings just because I love them? I have concluded that it is enough, for underlying that beauty is creativity, intelligence, and the artistic process. Social commentary is implicit. After all, why do we seek beauty, if not to escape pain? Why do we require calm, if not to reject a frenetic world? Beauty is necessary.

Barbara Pratt

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