My name is Vanessa Barbay. This blog was created to document my PhD painting project at the Australian National University supported by an ANU research scholarship 2009-2013. My studio practice based painting project investigated animal death through the creation of the ‘shroud’, an image of individual animals created by their own decomposition. In conjunction with the practice component of the project I produced a dissertation exploring the traditional representation of animals by Aboriginal painters in Western Arnhem Land, particularly in site specific rock art. In 2013 I was an inaugural recipient of the ANU Vice Chancellor’s College Visiting Artist’s Fellowship for which I brought together visual anthropology and painting in a cross-cultural collaborative painting project with childhood friend Theresa Ardler, a Gweagal – Dharawal woman from the Wreck Bay community. An extension of this project is the community collaborative art exhibition Synergy in 2014 organised when I was the Vice President of Jervis Bay and Basin Arts during the See Change Festival. I produced a solo exhibition ‘Becoming Intense: Becoming Animal’ at Squid Gallery in Nowra 2014. In 2015 I had a 5 week residency at Bundanon in order to produce works for an exhibition in the same year at the Shoalhaven City Art Gallery called ‘Ochre’ with Margot Curtis. I continue to produce shroud and ochre paintings while also working in oil paint, charcoal and watercolour.
Bodily print made from decomposing male kangaroo with the addition of skull painted with gesso