Helen Barff’s work is a series of ‘after images’ of a place, space, time or thing. She works with
objects – for example a piano, a train, a glass cup, a car or a collection of stones. The objects
become anthropomorphic metaphors for some kind of evidence of previous human presence.

The basis of the work is drawing. The processes Barff uses come out of the ‘blind’ gap or
reliance on memory that she perceives inherit in drawing. She tries to close this gap in drawing
by using direct contact, infiltrating vision with touch.

For Driven Barff presents a selection of photographic works made from inside her ‘pinhole
camera car’. Alongside this is a series of drawings made inside the blacked out car using
touch, in the dark following the contours of the car with one hand and drawing with the other.

Barff’s process of covering objects in a layer of felt emphasises the form of the objects. It
makes them appear both abstract and weightless. There is a sense of dislocation about the
work, implying a movement between present and absent.


Drawing MA, Camberwell College, 2004
Fine Art and Art History BA (hons), Goldsmiths College, 1999

Solo Exhibitions:

Solo Show, Bearspace Gallery, SE8, November 05

Group Exhibitions:

Group Drawing show, bluetenweiss, Berlin, February 07
Group Show, Bend in the River, Gainsborough, November 06
Group Show, Three Colts, E2, November 06
Zoo Art Fair – exhibiting with Bearspace, October 06
Group Show, Surface Gallery, Nottingham, July 06
Group Drawing Show, SourceArt, Illinois, USA, July 06
Group Show, Terrace Gallery, E8, July 06
They Also Draw, Seven Seven Gallery, E8, April 06
Nocturne, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, November 05
Group Show, Alma Enterprises, Vyner Street, E2, November 05
Demarco European Art Foundation Space, Edinburgh, August 05
Oriel Mostyn, Mostyn Open, Llandudno, March 05
Group show, Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, Wiltshire, March 05
Xhibit, work selected from across the University of Arts London, W1, May 04
DNA, Group show, Spitz Gallery, E1, January 01
One Foot Two, Group show, Mafuji Gallery, December 00
South London Gallery / London Transport, Commissioned Artist, February-June 00
New works II, exhibition at Farnham Maltings, Surrey, November 99
Goldsmiths graduates selected by Paul Hedge, Deptford X, July 99


Richard DeMarco Art Foundation Space – Skateraw, Scotland, August 2005
Ravensbourne School, Bromley, February 2001


New Art from London – Chris Townsend, Thames and Hudson, May 2006


Richard DeMarco Archive, Edinburgh
Rabley Contemporary Drawing Centre, nr. Marlborough


AHRB Grant for MA, Sep 03-July 04
Birds Charity (Royal Academy of Arts) Award, August 2003
South Square Trust Grant, July 2004
Shortlisted for New Contemporaries 99, 1999
click on image for larger view