Tiffany Barber is a contemporary painter originally from Edinburgh and now based in Leeds. She spent a large amount of time living and working in Hanoi, Vietnam during 2017/18 and has recently returned to the UK. Her work focuses on questions about current female social and political issues.
“Within my practice I mainly engage with the role of the female form in contemporary society. Using imagery that is both ambiguous and provocative I turn the focus towards the viewer. Highlighting aspects of their preconceptions in order to ultimately provoke a dialogue concerning the field of ideas raised by the feminist movement. My work is inspired by the medias sexualisation of the female figure and the images that modern society besieges us with, presenting images of the ‘idealized’ and sexualised female form. My paintings cover many issues about the idea of the female form as the object, inspired by the encouragement of how women are unrealistically illustrated within certain areas of the media, and how this alters our preconceptions of the female nude in contemporary society. As a female artist I consent for the viewers to observe the nude female form to generate a range of reactions similarly provoked by the images of women portrayed in the media. My work engages with modern society by conceptually and visually communicating current issues of how the female nude is still a precarious matter. However, is this perception of women a reflection of our ingrained stereotypes of gender roles in modern society or is the medias portrayal the vehicle that propels the stereotypes forward and enable them to be formed in the first place? It can be translated as a question of challenging the viewer’s preconceptions about women in society, and argued that the field of work in which my paintings perpetuate either visually describe the objectification of the female form or visually express female sexuality and liberation. Raising the question of what it is for the female nude to be liberated and how does this differ from objectification, or are there inextricably intertwined?
Barber graduated from ECA in 2015 with a BA(Hons) in Painting.