Hayley Barker (b.1973) is a Los Angeles based painter whose bold and beautiful paintings combine apparently prosaic personal details of her immediate surroundings in her home and studio in LA, with an awareness of time passing and the contradiction of painting as a means of both measuring time and freezing the moment. Her subjects are sometimes explicitly rendered from life – the tree from her bedroom window, the view across her lovingly tended yard, or the plants on her windowsill – and yet they seem to come from an interior place, balancing real and imaginary worlds in works that suggest as much a dreamscape as a landscape. As the critic Barry Schwabsky has noted, writing in ‘Art Forum’:


Barker’s paintings elaborate spaces that can’t be nailed down and identified. She calls them “spaces of passage,” of transition—across the immeasurable distance from life to death, perhaps, but also within life, from one physical or spiritual state to another. Her works speak of mystery, loss: intimations of what lies beyond the boundaries of the self.


They are paintings which explore and express an emotional or mental state, sometimes originating in a specific place or object, with an energy that recalls the visionary interiority of nineteenth century symbolists Redon and Moreau but a sensibility that feels more akin to the work of Bonnard and Vuillard.


This summer as part of this year’s Edinburgh Art Festival, Ingleby is pleased to present Barker’s first exhibition in Europe, The Ringing Stone (until 31 August 2024). The exhibition is anchored by four majestic paintings of the artist’s garden across the course of the year, alongside seasonally specific depictions of other scenes and still lives that play into Barker’s balance of recording intimately personal, often ritualistic subjects that have an invitingly universal frame of reference.