Empowering artists with intellectual disability

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Katrina BarberKatrina Barber

A little bit about Katrina…

Katrina is an emerging artist who has sold works in Rockingham and throughout Perth. She has an innate sense of colour and harmony and enjoys expressing herself through art, using bold colours shapes and lines. Katrina is deaf and whilst she uses signing to communicate, art has become an important way for her to communicate her thoughts, feelings and ideas to others. She gets great joy from sharing her work with other people and seeing their reactions to what she creates.

‘After Kings Park,’ pastel painting on particle board, 2011

When and how Katrina first become interested in art …

Katrina first became interested in art many years ago when she attended a community group in the country where she was introduced to art. Since then, she has developed a focus on painting acrylic abstracts and creating textile works.

‘Untitled,’ acrylic on canvas, 2010

Art mediums Katrina works with…

Katrina works with a variety of mediums including acrylics, textiles, pastel painting and recently wire sculptural forms.

Jellyfish textile 2011 copy

‘Jellyfish,’ textile, 2011

The inspiration behind Katrina’s art practice…

The inspiration for Katrina’s work comes from a variety of places. Many of her acrylic works are inspired by her love of rugs. Visits to art exhibitions, art books, and learning new art techniques often inspire her to create a new series of works. Even a visit to Kings Park recently started a new focus for her, inspiring her to create floral pastel paintings. Her current textile works were inspired by a marine nature film in which she saw jellyfish. She then began creating woven, woolen jellyfish forms.

‘Untitled,’ acrylic on paper, 2010

Where Katrina creates her art work…

Katrina creates her art in a variety of places. The Community Art Room in Rockingham has been a space where Katrina has been able to pursue her artistic ideas with other likeminded people. She has been attending the art room for the last four years and over that time has developed her skills whilst being exposed to a variety of different art techniques, some of which she now incorporates into her work. Katrina’s love of art brought about the opportunity for her to have private art tutoring. With her tutor she has visited many art exhibitions and discovered a range of art styles that she has taken inspiration from in her work.

Katrina working on a painting copy

Katrina working on a painting

The best thing about being an artist …

Being an artist brings Katrina great joy and satisfaction. It helps her to communicate and express her feelings and thoughts with other people. Through her art she is able to connect with the world in a way that enhances her communication with those around her. For Katrina, art has become her voice and that voice is inspiring and beautiful.


June 2011

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A big, big thank you to Katrina Barber and Julianne Ryan, Assistant Creative Development, at the Rockingham Community Art Room for contributing this artist profile. Images in this profile taken and supplied by Julianne Ryan.