The Art of Barry Cawston


"Recipient of numerous awards, including the ᅠPresident’s Award at the RWA ᅠOpen Photography Exhibition, Cawston exhibits widely at prestigious galleries and art fairs and his fine art photographs are now held in several notable public and private collections. His work demonstrates that in the hands of an artist of talent, photography can be a powerfully expressive medium able to create art of great beauty andᅠ to transmute the ordinary into the unexpected. Shot on a large format camera, Cawston’s images, whether landscape or cityscape, interior or figurative, display a fascination with shape, pattern, colour and texture and, coupled with metaphor and association, the poetry which these qualities can often suggest. Taken as a whole, his work seems to express an almost visceral response to the visual world."

- Hugh Mooney ART Magazine


The Beautiful and Condemned:


Barry Cawston’s images of abandoned buildings capture an eerie allure


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There’s something very American about Barry Cawston’s photographs. It’s odd, really, since none were taken in the US; instead they feature scenes from Italy, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil – even Bristol. Yet, be it in the contrasting colours of a Havana pool, the perfect clapboards of an Avonmouth cottage, or the crooked hat of a Tibetan cowboy, Cawston’s images recall both the New World melancholy of Edward Hopper and the dazzling modernity of David Hockney’s Berkeley days.


Cawston began his career in the early 1990s. With a degree in sociology and a diploma in photography, he freelanced while nurturing his interest in fine art. Winner of the Exeter Contemporary Open and the Chairman’s Choice Award at the RWA Photographic Open, he worked with a friend Al Deane under the collective pseudonym Boris Baggs to photograph a series of English Heritage projects for their Buildings @ Risk Campaigns. Since then, he has opened the Drugstore Gallery in Axbridge, Somerset and exhibited around the world. Frequently, he says, admirers note the ghosts of ᅠpainters past in his subjects: “It all began with the photo of the pool. I just stumbled across it after waking up one morning and thought: that is a photographic version of a Hockney painting. Had I been an hour later, or an hour earlier, it would have been totally different."


Though occasionally dabbling in digital photography, most of his work is done using a Wista Field camera, complete with hood, wooden tripod and bellows. “To an extent what I do is social documentation,” he says. Often it’s the picture or event that is in control not the photographer. I’ve experienced that many times.”


 - Alice-Azania Jarvis for the Independent Newspaper

Sociology Degree at Leeds University  1986-1989

Photography at Kitson College Leeds   1989 -1991

Exhibited Leeds 6 series at Leeds University

Photographic Assistant London 1992 -1994

Lived in Lith Hall, Victoria Park Rd Hackney London 1993 - 2001

Winner Landscape section AOP assistant awards1994

English Heritage Buildings at Risk Campaign

Opened The Drugstore Gallery in Axbridge Somerset 2002 -

Winner Nikon/BJP Dream project Award 2005

Winner Exeter Contemporary Open2007

Winner BBC 2 Show Me The Monet

Amazon Charitable Trust photographer 2010

Invited Photographer Hereford Photo Festival

South West Art Prize 2011

Winner RWA Photo Open 2012

Invited Photographer at RWA Photo Open 2014

In Flux Exhibition at The Atkinson Gallery Somerset.

Solo Exhibition at Off Arles Festival 2015

Tina European Art Prize 2015

'Are We There Yet Exhibition' at the Tropicana Weston & Pithay Bristol 2106