Glenn Barkley: The Urn of Bitter Prophecy

Art, Design Free
A cute ceramic urb in pastel shades with faces and flowers adorning it
Photograph: Sullivan and Strumpf | ‘theearthdothlikeasnakerenew’, 2021, Glenn Barkley

Time Out says

What brings Ryan Gosling together with Jesus, Julius Caesar and Mozart? The eye-popping ceramic artwork of Glenn Barkley is the surprising answer. The keen gardener, curator, writer and artist is perhaps best known for crafting beautifully colourful ceramic works that pair pop culture references with knowing winks to the classics.

You’ll be able to play Where’s Wally? with all four of the famous faces above in his latest exhibition The Urn of Bitter Prophecy, showing at Sullivan and Strumpf gallery in Zetland from April 15 until May 8. Each of the pastel-hued urns, some tiny, some huge, is adorned with historical figures casually hanging out with the stars of today. The exhibition name is lifted from a Percy Shelley poem, Hellas, written in 1821, and lines from it trace their way around several of the works, as do pop lyrics, making for a fun game of place the line.

You’ll also be able to check out Barkley’s gorgeous painting and collages. Some of his intricate designs for the latter have been turned into wallpaper, with one lush example now hanging in the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. You’ll also get a sneak peek at a new frontier for the artist, with a natty line in tile-making.

If you can’t make it down to the gallery, you can also check it out online already. See if you can spot the Gosling. And don't get bitter if you can't.

Love colourful art? Check out Lumen at White Rabbit. 

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