Del Kathryn Barton
Thames & Hudson Australia
This publication is part of a new series of mini-monographs on Australian female artists; edited by Natalie King, each contains a personal essay by a luminary from another field. Here, in an ode to Del Kathryn Barton, the ‘high priestess of womanhood’, prize-winning author Sarah Darmody draws parallels from her experience with impending motherhood to Barton’s depictions of the seduction and power of sexuality and femininity. Darmody recalls sleep-deprived evenings in the nursery, where surreal, hypnagogic hallucinations mirror the hybrid characters and imaginative ornate worlds of Barton’s compositions. Her commentary on motherhood captures the beauty and struggles of our biology and the ‘hormonal tide of re-creation’; coupling Barton’s beautifully distorted, multi-breasted figures that densely fill these pages.