artist Barbara Barlow and her ceramic artwork

A local artist taught at evening classes in Nantwich could have her work displayed by the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts Annual Open Exhibition in London.

Barbara Barlow began to study art when she first moved to Nantwich in 2006.

Now 18 years later, she has established herself as an artist and has been shortlisted in the final round of judging in a bid to be part of the Royal Academy exhibition.

Barbara originally specialised in reduction linocut and watercolours, belonging to a number of professional groups in the region.

Her work hangs in private homes in countries including America, Scandinavia, Europe and Australia.

She has one work in the Houses of Parliament, and one of her images was used by Chester Cathedral to promote an exhibition.

Two years ago, she started evening classes in ceramics at Brine Leas School in Nantwich.

And it was there she learned to create 3-dimensional forms.

ceramic entry by Barbara
“STONED” by Barbara

Last year, she entered the Keele Three Counties Open Art Competition with a sculptural work called “AWAKENING”, a piece inspired by imagining what may lie at the bottom of the ocean bed.

She then created ceramic garden sculptures and built a garden totem called “STONED”.

Barbara entered the piece into the world’s longest running and largest show, the Royal Academy of Arts Annual Open Exhibition.

She said: “Each year, organisers commission someone of renown within the art world to lead in coordinating the exhibition.

“In 2018, Grayson Perry was in charge and in 2022 the comedian Joe Lycett entered a sculpture. Both events were documented on television.

“There are typically 10,000 entries to the show and I’ve been shortlisted.

“The next step is to take the work to London in early May and leave it there for the final round of judging.”

Around 1,000 pieces will be chosen for the event.

“Getting through to this stage is an achievement in itself,” Barbara added.

“I’m happy to get this far! I’m enjoying the “now” and not worrying about the outcome.”

The exhibition runs from June 18 to August 18.

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