Barry Sykes' work examines awkwardness, absurdity, authenticity and intimacy, with recent projects involving Laughter Yoga, West End Theatre, Pitman Shorthand and Naturism. In his sculptures, installations, events and works on paper reflect on the circumstances of their making, whether in the isolation of the studio or in conversation with a particular person, place or situation. Although rooted in sculpture, making and the object this open-ended approach has also incorporated acting, karaoke, astronomy, PowerPoint lectures, feedback forms, imaginary events and experimental photography.
Solo exhibitions include 'Sociable Hermit', University of Bath, Somerset, UK; "it must be told", Enclave, London, UK; Recreate a Nervy Pistol? (An Early Retrospective), Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK; 'The Desperate Designer, Gallop, London (Part of the London Design Festival) and I Was Born The Day Heidegger Died (But I Don't Know Much About His Work), i-cabin, London. Recent events have been presented atFocal Point Gallery, Southend, UK; Kings ARI, Melbourne; Arnolfini, Bristol; Limoncello, London; The Showroom, London; Spike Island, Bristol; Tate St Ives, Cornwall; Tate Modern, London and the Immersive Vision Theatre, Plymouth.
*Continually rewritten, this version 12/03/2018. In the 3rd person for your convenience.
04.2015 'Sociable Hermit', ICIA, University of Bath, UK
04.2014 "it must be told.", Enclave Guest Projects, Deptford, London
06.2011 'I Am Not Him And I Do Not Have Your Pen', solo Late at Tate evening, Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Beach, St Ives, Cornwall, UK
11.2011 'A Grey Area', Backside, The Motorcycle Showroom, Bristol, UK
01.2011 'Recreate A Nervy Pistol? (An Early Retrospective)'
Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK
09.2009 'The Desperate Designer', Gallop, Deptford, London.
Part of The London Design Festival 2009
09.2008 'I Was Born On The Day Heidegger Died (But I Don't Know Much About His Work)', i-cabin, London
03.2008 'Tree Hugger', Platform, Vaasa, Finland
Selected Group Exhibitions
10.2017 ‘The Festival of Radical Fun’, Museum of London, UK
10.2017 ‘Concentric Zone Theory’ Division of Labour, London, UK
02.2016 'Manual Labours: The Complaining Body', The Peltz Gallery, Birkbeck College, London, UK
10.2015 'Hermits and Reliable Artists', Division of Labour, London, UK
08.2015 'To Pay Respect To The Generosity Of The Three Minute Punk-Rock Song Pt.2: Re-Edit'. BEEF, Bristol (Curated by Toby Huddlestone)
11.2014 'Macht', Group exhibition curated by Sandra Mann. Prevent, Frankfurt, Germany
11.2014 'Yearbook'. Group exhibition for Enclave 'Yearbook' edition portfolio. Enclave, Deptford, UK
09.2013 'The False Memory Archive', The Exchange, Penzance UK (Collaboration within A.R. Hopwood solo show)
09.2013 '4 Days: Curtain Call', Arnolfini, Bristol, UK
09.2013 'Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!', blip blip blip, Leeds, UK (Curated by Hayley Dixon)
03.2013 'L.I.E in London', Collaborative video work with Library of Independant Exchange, Hannah Barry Gallery, London
03.2013 'Misuse: Creating Alternatives', organised by the Curating the Contemporary MA, London Met Uni & The Whitechapel Gallery.
11.2011 'To Pay Respect To The Generosity Of The Three Minute Punk-Rock Song', Crate, Margate. (Curated by Toby Huddlestone)
02.2011 '£171', Project Space 11, Plymouth, UK
12.2010 'Virtually Worthless Decorative Objects', Project Space 11, Plymouth, UK
11.2010 'Ink', North Lodge, University College London.
08.2010 'Agitprop!', Project Space 11, Plymouth, UK
05.2010 'No Soul For Sale', Turbine Hall, Tate Modern. (Invited by i-cabin)
04.2010 'Multichannel', Artists film and video group show, Artsway, Sway, New Forest, UK
02.2010 'Performance Metrics', The Gallery, Goldsmith's College, London. (Curated by Elisa Kay and Shama Khanna)
Residencies and Awards
2016-18 Artist in Residence, Oakwood Sun Club, Essex. In association with Radical Essex
2013/14 Research and production residency, ICIA, University of Bath, UK
11.2011 Research residency, Motorcycle Showroom, Bristol, UK
07.2011 Research residency, Gallery Maskinen, Umea, Sweden
2011/12 Research residency, i-Dat, University of Plymouth, Plymouth, UK
2010/11 Research, commission and exhibition residency, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK
02.2008 Six week residency and exhibition at Platform gallery, Vaasa, Finland
07.2005 Nominated for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Arts (with Sean Parfitt)
07.2004 Two month residency, 2YK Studios, Berlin 2004-05 Grizedale Arts Research and Development Bursary (with Sean Parfitt)
10.2003 Shortlisted for Bookworks Emerging Artists Commission
09.2002 10 day GARBA Residency, Montescaglioso , Italy
08.2012 'The Apocralypse' Inviting 22 artists to devise hypothetical events, one published each weekday throughout August 2012.
09.2008 'Resolution Way' reconfiguring the original exhibition for the Deptford X retrospective Exhibition, APT Gallery Deptford
07.2002 'Resolution Way', Deptford, London . Three projects
by Bob and Roberta Smith, Cesare Pietroiusti, Semloh Bbew &Artlab. (Co-curated with Emma Ridgway and Sean Parfitt).
1999 - 2000 MA Fine Art, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London, UK
1995 - 1998 BA (Hons) Fine Art, Liverpool Art School, UK
1994 - 1995 Art Foundation Course, Thurrock Technical College, Essex, UK
1988 - 1994 Coopers' Company & Coborn School, Upminster, Essex, UK
1986 - 1988 The Bell Junior School, Upminster, Essex, UK
1980 - 1986 Wykeham Primary School, Hornchurch Essex, UK
2001 - onwards Sole trader, Animals in Wire
Tinnitus (significant, manageable)
Sciatica (mild, manageable)