Kent Barrett Artist’s Statement
Kent Barrett is an artist/photographer who lives and works
in St. John’s Newfoundland.
“Photography has been a constant companion throughout my life. For thirty -five
years I worked almost exclusively in black & white and was a strict Cartier-Bresson-type 35-mm-full-frame “moment” purist obsessed with quality gelatin/silver printing.
With the advent of (relatively) inexpensive graphics computers and digital cameras in the 1990s, I began to move—not away from silver—but towards the digital realm and the freedom that these modern tools provide.
At present I am engaged in producing an exhibition (Wild! Flowers!) of works which are entirely digital from capture to print. Two of the pieces I submit today are from that series. That I can, using only a digital "pocket" camera and a computer, produce colourful and evocative images is a mystery and a joy to me.
Yet, what I call the visual process, the creative force that compels me to produce has not changed. This is the "thing" inside me that tells me when a composition is correct. It is the same regardless of what instrument I'm using. The thing that tells me when a silver print is perfect also tells me, in the case of computer manipulation,
when to stop.
So, here I am. One day silver printing will fade from everyday utility and take it's place beside the deguerreotype, the cyanotype and the other methods in the history of photography, as will what I am doing now. The process evolves, the process continues and the process remains the same.”
The Way They Were (RCA, solo)
Pixel Pushers (Emily Carr)
Tender Hooks (Grunt Gallery, solo)
Not Art (Annex Gallery, solo)
Kent Barrett Photographs
(MUN Touring, solo)
(Great Auk Gallery, solo)
Some Girls (RCA)
No Exit (RCA, solo)
After A Fashion (Northlight, solo)
Grants and Awards
NLAC Artists Grant
Arts & Letters Competition
Canada Council Senior Arts Grant
Apple Canada People's Choice
Award (digital media)
Worth 1000 Award
The Computer Paper
The Evening Telegram
Kent Barrett was born in Manitoba in 1952 and raised
in Toronto Canada. He moved to Newfoundland in the
1970s to work with the Newfoundland Traveling Theatre
Company. Through his long association with the arts in
Newfoundland, he has amassed an impressive document
of the music, theatre and arts scene in the province
he calls home.
During the 80s Barrett taught advanced darkroom
techniques at the MUN Extension Arts and worked extensively with Manfred Buchheit on 19th century printing
techniques. Barrett's work carried over to the electronic
realm in the late 80s and he served as photo editor
for the International Teletimes,an electronically distributed
publication launched on private networks predating
Barrett was an early adopter of digital photographic
technology and computer graphics, and since 2001 has
worked exclusively in that medium.
Barrett is recognized as a master printer and his works
have been exhibited in galleries from St. John's Newfoundland to Victoria BC and are found in many private collections.