Updated: Aug 15, 2019
Colette Slater Barrass is a graphic designer and photographer based in London. She has been practicing for three years and creates works in a range of forms and styles from commercial graphic design, to mixed media artwork and raw film photography.
Colette cites her inspiration for her mixed media photography as coming from the “often overlooked tactile world that surrounds us everyday.” using found materials, such as peppercorns, tipex and wax, to incorporate and visualize these textures into her work.
Colette’s work is also inspired by the female and male form, especially in classical art, which is especially evident in her photographic portraits. These portraits often display individuals in graceful, majestic poses reminiscent of classical paintings and sculptures.
Colette cites American photographer Sally Mann as an influence because of her use of unpredictable developing processes to reveal interesting marks and textures on her images. Colette herself uses developing processes, such as layering photographs to create mystical and unusual portraits, and to create texture within the photographs.
Colette had her series ‘Beneath the Skin’ displayed at the Norman Rea’s ‘Keep Gazing’ exhibition in February 2019 which aimed to explore gender, sexuality and identity through the work exhibited.
'Beneath the Skin' presented photographs of male and female nude forms next to one another, representing the vulnerability and fluidity of gender by inviting attendees to form similarities between the two forms.
The series utilised mix media with paint, photography and textures, causing the two forms to blend into one another. As a result of this, and the composition of the photography, the series created an intriguing instance in which their genders became indistinguishable and both forms are treated and displayed equally.
Since the exhibition, Colette has been applying her training as a graphic designer to work on the re-branding of the Ashmolean Museum Oxford and to brand a new Yoga studio.
Still wishing to nurture her interest and talent in photography, Colette stated she wished to “focus more on my photography in the near future and work on sets and shoots. I will also be applying to exhibit some more photography work in other exhibitions.”
Colette’s work will again be exhibited at the Norman Rea in celebration of the gallery’s upcoming tenth-year anniversary exhibition “TEN”. The exhibition aims to celebrate ten years of the Norman Rea Gallery by displaying a selection of artists and their works who have formed the Gallery’s history.
The exhibition will run 14th-28th October 2019 in the Norman Rea Gallery with preview night 14th October 7-10pm.
Written by Rosie Day