Barbie Kjar – IMPRINT Magazine Feature & upcoming exhibitions

In News March 12, 2023

Image above: Barbie Kjar  Kelp Woman/ Cuttlefish with Eyes  2022  drypoint and relief print stencil, diptych  edition of 15  76 x 112 cm. Reproduced with permission of the artist. Photography: Heath McKinley.

Barbie Kjar shares her experience completing a two-part artist residency at King Island, Tasmania in April and October 2022 in the article ‘From the wild ocean’, published in the upcoming autumn 2023 issue of Imprint Magazine.

Barbie Kjar: “The ocean is immense, chaotic, known and unknown, powerful, cleansing, enigmatic and dangerous…

Bull Kelp with Eyes  2022  charcoal, ink, salt, watercolour, conte drawing  112 x 76 cm. Reproduced with permission of the artist. Photography: Heath McKinley.


“During the two parts of the residency, I found King Island to be a spirited place, with the studio-house providing a rare space to think and make work without the complexity of urban life. Currie itself has a population of 765 and I found people to be very friendly. No one seems to be in a hurry…

“Inspired by all I saw in the museum and on the island, I began to create drawings with ink and watercolour. I experimented with salted ink which mirrored the effect of salt water. I also cut out stencils of kelp forms and experimented with drawings made of multiple segments. In the second part of the residency, I filmed the sea in its various guises…

Bull kelp drying on wooden racks at Kelp Pty Ltd, Currie, King Island, 2022. Photographer the artist. Reproduced with permission of the artist.


“This residency has been pivotal to the making of a new body of work, in which I am incorporating the images and objects I drew, reflecting different faces of the sea; it gave me time to experiment with techniques and concepts: artistically, I have moved in a new direction.”

The King Island Arts and Cultural Centre was established by Council in 2006. The Artist Residency is a key part of the centre’s activities, offering artists two or six weeks of unhindered creative time and space. Located in the picturesque Currie Wharf precinct, the centre includes workshop space and gallery and offers a glimpse into the uniqueness of the Island’s environment and cultural life.

Barbie Kjar is a Melbourne-based artist and educator working in printmaking, drawing and sculpture. Her work is focused on the rituals of human behaviour, the connection between human, animal, the natural world and stories of the sea. Her work is held in significant collections and Kjar has held thirty-eight solo exhibitions in Australia and international residencies in Rome, Tokyo, Barcelona, Mexico City, San Francisco and Skopelos.

Eel with Eyes  2022  drypoint and mokulito  56 x 76 cm  edition of 10. Reproduced with permission of the artist. Photography: Heath McKinley.


Barbie Kjar will also be shown in two upcoming exhibitions in 2023: From the wild ocean at Tasmanian Maritime Museum, and Seven + Seven: printmaking across unknown terrain at Perc Tucker Gallery in Townsville.

From the wild ocean
Maritime Museum of Tasmania
16 Argyle Street, Hobart TAS 7000
22 April – 30 August 2023

Seven + Seven: printmaking across unknown terrain
Perc Tucker Regional Gallery
253 Flinders Street, Townsville Qld 4810
9 June – 3 September 2023

Opening night: Friday 9 June 2023, 6pm for 6:30pm speeches.


Combining the work of Canadian and Australian printmakers, Seven + Seven: printmaking across unknown terrain explores the visual dialogue and ideas that manifest in contemporary printmaking. Curator Derek Besant (Canada) and Jo Lankester (Australia) exchanged views and notions about the vast and harsh environments on different continents situated in different hemispheres that have similarities with the country’s vastness and the treatment of First Nations peoples by British colonialism. They also discussed the difference between extreme weather in the locations where they choose to live and how this influences their art practice.

Artists include G.W. Bot, Janet Parker Smith, Barbie Kjar, Judy Watson, Wendy Murray, Timika Grant-Iramu, Rebecca Beardmore, John Dean, Liz Ingram + Bernd Hildebrandt, Jewel Shaw, Walter Jule, Alexandra Haeseker, Sean Caulfield, Derek Besant.