Born 1942, Swan Hill
Slim Barrie spent most of his life singing country and western songs in the Riverina district with his mother, Neta, until her death. He later moved to Lakes Entrance, Victoria, and started making sculptures from pieces of wood discarded by the local council. He moved on to constructing art works with cardboard, adding mementos from his mother’s life such as her watch, beads and earrings.
Barrie’s piled-up totemic assemblage technique is clearly testimony to his pleasure and excitement at the transformation of natural forms. Assemblage is the consistent method of all his works, and moulded coat hangers, plastic lids and glass jars are the pedestals that complete their hybrid identities.
He has also made many paintings on cardboard and dioramas in cardboard boxes, which are themselves encrusted with decorations to disrupt the painted surface, including shells, gum nuts, tools, cotton buds, photographs, the caps of his superglue tubes, and even alarm clocks .
Slim Barrie is represented in many notable Australian collections including those of Peter Fay and the Australian National Maritime Museum.
Statue for Peter Fay 2004; mixed media; 38 x 25cm; Courtesy Peter Fay