Art Studio & Gallery: Upper Room, St. John’s Anglican Church, Woolston.

Gaylene Anne Barnes (Christchurch, NZ. b. 1970)

I am a multi-disciplinary artist and filmmaker.  I have a practice that seeks to reconcile the elemental and the energetic. The original proton, and the original electron. The masculine and the feminine.  I work with matter in a conscious way.  My egg tempera and watercolour paintings build on the tradition of Christian sacred iconography. I create non-objective artworks, inspired by sacred geometry from perennial traditions. I am an organic farmer, fermenter and herbalist. I grow, ground, infuse and distill many of my paints and mediums. I respect and honour the animal, vegetable, and mineral elementals. I work with energy as an exploratory practise requiring spiritual reconciliation. Light and sound, video and audio have been my primary tools in a professional career in the film and television industry. I manifest electrons in temporal replications. I capture photons, and activate electricity. I create cyber-flanuers that inhabit non-spaces. We of the digital age are in danger of being disembodied. 

I have been creating works using words or images, moving or meditative, ever since I won the coveted Southland Young Contemporary of the Year Award in 1988. Since then I have been nominated for awards in film design and film editing. I have had my short films screened internationally in film festivals from Sydney to Berlin to Alaska. My recent feature film, on the nature of our rivers, “Seven Rivers Walking,” screened nationally to large audiences. I have completed painting commissions for international and local patrons, and has exhibited in Christchurch, Dunedin and Nelson, New Zealand.

2020, Artist Residency, Arteles Creative Centre, Finland

2020 Butterflies, Flowers & Hope – Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch
2020 Housekeeping! – Group Exhibition, Jeanne Avent Gallery, South London
2019 Bitter Harvest – Group Exhibition, Black Asterisk, Auckland 
2019 Origins – Solo Exhibition, Atelier Studio Gallery, Nelson
2019 Summer Salon – Group Exhibition, Atelier Studio Gallery, Nelson
2018 Inangahua Gold – Sacred Heart Addington Church Hall, Christchurch
2018 Downscale – Group Exhibition, Atelier Studio Gallery, Nelson
2018 Earthquakes and Butterflies Art Events – Cardboard Cathedral, Christchurch
2018 Works on Paper – Group Exhibition, Atelier Studio Gallery, Nelson
2016 The Recycled Tubes – Interactive Sculpture, FESTA, Christchurch
2016 In Miniatures – Group Exhibition, Oxford Street Gallery, Lyttelton
2015 Spirits and Cracks – Sacred Heart Parish Hall, Christchurch
2014 In Miniature – Group Exhibition, The Tin Palace, Lyttelton
2013 The Heart of Sacred Art – w. Michael Galovic, Sacred Heart Parish, Addington

Film & Digital
2019 Holding the Centre – Video Art Projection, Anthroposophical Society Conference
2019 Compassion Expansion – Digital Art, Flash Frontier, LOVE Issue, Apr 2019.
2017 Seven Rivers Walking Haere Mārire – Feature Documentary, NZIFF, Lady Isaac 
2016 Hikoi on the Waikirikiri – Short Video, Down By the Liffy, Lincoln
2012 The Mobile Meat Processing Unit – Animation, NZIFF, International Festivals.
2009 Maori Links, Cultural Festival – Animated Video Projection, CBS Arena, Christchurch
2005 Mothers Day – Experimental Short Film, Wellington Fringe Film Festival
2003 Holes of History – Experimental Short Film,Wellington Fringe Film Festival
2002 RollCall Remix – Music Video – NZ Music Video Awards, Wellington
1996 Laura Paints – Stage Play, Globe Theatre, Dunedin
1995 Prisons of Infinite Space – CD Multimedia Installation, Dunedin Public Art Gallery
1993 Black Umbrella Multimedia Extravaganza – Video Projection, Zenith Cafe, Dunedin
1993 Video Art to the Music of Freud Squad – Projection, Sammy’s Nightclub, Dunedin
1991 Otago Polytechnic School of Art, Graduates Exhibition
1991 OUSA Student Exhibition, Student Union, University of Otago
1989 Southland Art Societies Young Contemporaries Exhibition, Invercargill

Awards and Grants

2010, Creative New Zealand, Screen Innovation Fund – Grant
2005, New Zealand Screen Awards – Nominated for Achievement in Editing
2000, Nokia New Zealand Film Awards – Nominated for Best Production Design: Scarfies
1990, Telecom Art Award, Otago Art Society, Finalist
1988, Southland Art Society, Craigs Art Award, Young Contemporary of the Year


University of Otago, Bachelor of Arts, Art History, 1996
Otago Polytechnic School of Art, Diploma of Fine Arts, 1991

Reviews / Publications

Pegg, Nic: “After Dark with Gaylene Barnes”, After Dark, 9 Aug 2019
Kentish-Barnes, Cosmo: “The farmer and the filmmaker”, Country Life, RNZ, 4 May 2018
Church, Logan: “Documentary on Canterbury’s waterways” Checkpoint, RNZ, 10 August 2017
Sarah, McMullan: “Viewing with Sarah McMullan”, Nine To Noon, RNZ, 12 Oct 2017
Croot, James: “Seven Rivers Walking: Kiwi doco leaving audiences in tears” Stuff, 17 Oct 2017
Shipley, Laura: “River walks film’s genesis” The Ensign, 13 Sept 2017
Morton, Jamie: “Q&A: The murky fate of Canterbury’s rivers”, NZ Herald, 31 Aug 2017.
Dunlop, Ryan: “Documentary makers on pilgrimage”, The Press, 27 Mar 2017
Joyce, Janet: “Director’s Cut”, CS Arts, issue 27, June 2007, p. 12-13
Smith, Charmaine: “Students write of what they know” Otago Daily Times, 1996
Fallwell, Keren: “Craigs Art Award” Southland Times, Nov 1988


Sancta Maria Parish – Sacred Heart Diocese, Addington
Works held in private collections in the United States, UK and New Zealand.


“Compassion Expansion” Flash Frontier, LOVE Issue, Apr 2019.

“Passages of the Cyber-Flanuer”, exhibition essay, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 1997.


2019, Guest Tutor, Atelier Studio Gallery, Nelson
2011-19, Short Course Tutor, Yoobee School of Art and Design, Christchurch
2012-18, Guest Tutor, Marian College, Christchurch


2013 The Heart of Sacred Art – Two-Person Show, Sacred Heart Church, Addington, co-curated.


Christchurch, New Zealand
Kia Ora

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