B a r r y M c C a n n
My work aims to create atmospheric depictions of reality through careful planning and observations, with a little mathematics thrown into the mix. Like putting together puzzle pieces, I deconstruct the shapes and tones of my subjects using deliberate colour mixes and thoughtful edges. When each piece of the puzzle is connected, the paint helps to convey the illusion of light, giving life, beauty and a delicate power to each subject. This collection of colours is a substitute for reality aiming to tell the stories in my mind.
Born in Armidale, New South Wales, Barry McCann initially trained as a commercial chef before undertaking studies at the Canberra School of Arts in 1990. A full-time professional artist since 2000, he and his wife, Lucy McCann, operate McCann Fine Art Gallery while also teaching art in two studio spaces on their rural property in Armidale, NSW.
Among his awards are the Mortimore Portrait Prize (2010); Mortimore Prize Best of Show (2008); Manning Art Prize People’s Choice Award (2013); the Kilgour Art Prize People’s Choice Award (2011) and the portraiture prize in the Walgett Bulldust to Bitumen Art Show.
McCann has exhibited regularly in solo, joint and group exhibitions in Australia. He has been a finalist in numerous art competitions, including the Archibald Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales (2008); the Mortimore Prize for Landscape (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013); the Inglis Equine Prize (2011, 2012, 2013); the Kilgour Prize (2008, 2010, 2011); the Shirley Hannan Portrait Prize (2008); the 2007 Sydney Royal Arts Show (highly commended in the rural subject/landscape category) and the 2007 Gold Edition Equine Prize (highly commended).
Barry McCann was elected a member of the Australian Watercolour Institute in 2018.