Mitch Barrett


 “But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself. As a man is so he sees.” ( William Blake)

 As a child I was curious as to what I could create from my imagination, relishing every possible moment that I could escape from the humdrum world of school and daily existence and enter the make-believe world of fantasy and adventure.

 I loved the stories from mythology and at an early age of twelve years was presented to HRH Princess Margaret and photographed in the local newspaper as one of the young talents for a sculpture which I had completed of a Centaur grappling with a man.

 I then discovered that my interpretation of what was real and also unconscious could be translated onto canvas.

 I have combined four styles of art in my paintings which are Visionary, Symbolic, Mythological and Surrealistic.

To the unaware my work covers a wide variety of what would be interpreted as different types of art, which have been rather misunderstood.

 This was how my feelings and thoughts came together onto the canvas, expressing visually my thoughts from my own experiences of life, I began to be recognised as being different from the normal.

 I eventually discovered that there was a term, which when all these types of art are amalgamated it is known as Fantastic Realism. To quote Andre Breton,

 “The wonderful thing about the fantastic is that fantastic does not exist and everything is real.”

 To clarify real this means a true interpretation of how the artist sees his life, fantasies and reality. If you have a taste for this type of art, it will be as real to you,  for you will be able to interpret the reasons behind what you see in each painting and make of them as you will.

 As an artist I respond to everything that is around me, which opens a door to an inner world where past, present and future intertwine, where the soul is revealed and to quote Joseph Campbell,

 “The role of the artist I now understand as that of revealing through the world-surfaces the implicit forms of the soul…..”

 Between visions of the artist and the interpretations of an onlooker, stories are told, ‘myths’ and it is an ongoing journey to expand horizons of consciousness. An Art that does not have to justify its existence only through assisting man in his pursuit of a more humane self-realization, not just as a mirror, a projection or a sort of composed imitative response and neither as an alternative, but rather as a suggestion for critical self-realization.

 As these images flow through me that wish to be interpreted and reflected on in a meaningful way, a struggle begins. Two different worlds are caught in conflict and begin to merge, the ego of the artist, the (clown-like) mask that we all wear in our desire for recognition and that of a child-like inquisitiveness as I step into a personal landscape, as a pilgrim devoted to reaching the source of this True Creation.

 I then endeavour to remember as if recalling a dream, images begin to emerge onto the canvas and I am reminded that we are all connected after looking behind the masks that we all wear in this domain of the Collective Imagination.