top of page
Barry
Ross
Smith
painted girl2 (resized).jpg
Samsung S23 Ultra

Barry’s work explores the tension between humans’ exploitation and conservation of the environment. He used the new Galaxy S23 Ultra’s ground-breaking 200MP camera to capture unparalleled close-ups of his work, even capturing detail such as intricate brushwork, broken brush bristles, and surface texture. He then combined these images into the composite artworks which were used to create a series of unique artworks for each Samsung Studio around New Zealand.

Samsung logo
wallpaper images for your digital devices
3d model of the fish
initial sketch of the Orange Roughy fish
working process and tools
the finished fish made of rubbish bags

Each outline shape of the pattern had a small 10mm tag along its outside edge for attaching to the next segment - like a 3d puzzle. The next step in the process was to cut all of the pieces out of the rubbish bags, attach them to each other and then construct all of the specific pieces into a whole forming a bladder for the fan.

Orange Roughy

An electric fan was dismantled and the motor and fan used to power the air flow. An electrician was then utilized to connect the timer and mechanism to stop and start the fan at the desired intervals, which turned out to be 4 seconds. It was set to turn on for four seconds, then stop for three seconds and repeat, creating the effect of a living breathing creature.​

The fish sculpture, lying on it’s side is inflated with the electric fan as an air pump. With the use of the rubbish bags, an everyday item that is designed to be discarded, the breath brings a personal focus to a larger environmental problem. Watching the Orange Roughy in process  had a disturbing effect and was uncomfortable to view, it's clunky carton appearance created an empathy in me. 

Making the Cut

I chose an Orange Roughy because they are New Zealand's largest commercial catch, are slow-growing (maturing) with a very long lifespan (up to 200 years), resulting in low resilience to change. The early working title was: the Breath of the Moon and the idea for this came from thinking about the interconnected nature of earth and the moon. How it is the gravitational pull of the moon that creates the motion in the sea, like a breath, the sea is the lungs of the earth and we are clogging it with plastic. 

Using the initial sketch to get the basic idea down on paper, A digital three dimensional version  was created in Cinema 4D software. It was then exported to a 3D pattern software package where the digital construct was transformed into 3D isometric shapes (over 200 in total) and the file was printed out onto a long continuous roll of paper with all of the segments displayed to form a pattern in order to cut the shape out. 

Estranged

An exhibition at Depot Artspace with a group of recent MFA graduates with each bringing their own interpretation to the word "Estranged"

 

My meditation on the show title was to consider how removed we are from anything not immediately within our consciousness. Once I throw something away, discarded into the trash, it makes its way to a landfill or the ocean and becomes invisible to me. I sometimes seem to be living as if unaware, separate and above other life forms - unthinking of the impact my privileged life is having upon my surroundings and the wildlife that shares this planet with me. The ocean, once considered vast and unending is becoming choked with human rubbish. I decided to fabricate an oversized Orange Roughy fish from Auckland Council plastic rubbish bags (60 litre orange bags). And to bring this sculpture to life by incorporating movement with a fan inside it as a bellows to inflate it and create the effect of breathing

Group exhibition of artists individual reactions and connections to the word 'Estranged' • Title: Orange Roughy • Size: 3 x 1.6 metres • Medium: Plastic Bags, D/s tape, electric fan, straws

2017

Estranged

milk containers with birds painted on them

Got Milk?

This project was completed for the 100 days project. A nationwide activity bringing people from all walks of life together (via the internet) to create, one thing each day... for 100 days.

Completing the 100 days is hard. It is an exercise in consistency - no weekends off, no sick days. One thing produced each and every day for over three months. By the end I was exhausted, but I'd also gained a strong habit of daily commitment to working in my studio. It's also fascinating to scroll through the various and different projects undertaken. In 2016 over one thousand people took part but many, many fall to the wayside along the journey. The project began on the 24th August and was completed on the 1st of December 2016. Each daily creative act from all of the participants can be seen at the 100 days project website.

In America, the portraits of missing children were printed onto the side of milk cartons in an effort to get their face noticed by the general public. It was  used as an aid to create awareness and hopefully find where the kids might have gone. My project encapsulated this concept by painting an image of one of New Zealand's threatened animals or plants onto the side of a commercial milk carton each day, for 100 days.

It is a sad fact that I had more than enough endangered animals in which to paint. New Zealand has over 4000 endangered plants and species! The boundaries were simple, to paint one a day as a 'warm-up' to my studio time. Not to go back over it and do any repainting once completed.

Along with the daily painting, I began to pick out a sentence from the many words printed on the carton, a saying or sentence that appealed to me, in the gallery below you can find the 'found text' next to an image of the milk carton produced that day.

A Landscape without Birds

milk containers with birds painted on them

Daily painting project with a group exhibition.  Size: 100 individual milk cartons • Medium: mixed media

2016

A Landscape without Birds

October  - Everyday Objects

I discovered that without an attachment, I find it difficult to connect with the content, so I tried painting household items. I ran out of inspiration around day 88 but was content with the entirety of the project as one of its aims was getting the daily ritual of painting in the studio into a habit, which it achieved.

August  a Stone - (after Sisyphus)

A humble rock taken from my garden and placed within the studio setting then observed/painted each day for a month. There is madness in repeating the exact same thing daily, a frustration or movement towards nihilistism. But within that repetition there also meditation, rediscovery and appreciation of form, chiaroscuro,  the language of light ... perhaps it is  an optimistic nihilism as it became a pleasure to focus upon each days sunlight illuminating this singular small rock. 

oil on canvas, 180 x 180mm each