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Creative Paddington: Barbara Licha

By Lola Pinder



Barbara Licha works with varying mediums including painting, printing and sculpture. Polish born, Licha moved to Sydney in the 1980s and graduated with a BA from UNSW Art & Design in 1988 and a Graduate Diploma in Art in 1989. She fondly recalled for me the old big building at Flinders Street and its creative atmosphere, she described the unrenovated collection of buildings that created a unique environment. Licha had just arrived in Australia when she started to study.

UNSW Art & Design introduced her to Sydney’s art scene. The Holdsworth Galleries in Paddington offered Licha her first solo show in 1984 in Australia and she is still appreciative of art dealer Gisella Scheinberg’s push in introducing new artists to Paddington. ‘Paddington was one of the places to be seen, and to have a show’. She recalls 'walking was the best way to getting know the place, so I did walk a lot. Oxford Street offered, and still offers, various feelings, and smells of the past and present’.

Her practice reflects a contemporary expressionism, wherein she explores the complexity of the human condition. She describes ‘reality and dreams, past and present, good and bad, anger and love inspire me’. Licha currently is working more with sculptural forms, her three-dimensional sketches in wire examine contemporary existentialism. The works are both harsh and whimsical in the representation of both the physical and emotional states of in human behaviour and contemporary urban living (see works below).

Licha is working to relate her wire sculptural practice with ceramic work for this year's International Outdoor Ceramics and Sculpture Plenary in Poland, Boleslawiec. Coming up she is part of this year’s Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing from 27 February to 27 March. Also in March her drawings will be part of group exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. 

Licha is represented in several international public and private art collections, including the National Library of Australia, the NGA and the Academy of Fine Art, Poland.

This post is part of the Art Month Event Creative Paddington taking place on March 7th in conjunction with Metro Screen and UNSW Art & Design.


Images courtesy and © Barbara Licha