Barrington Tobin

Barrington Tobin was born in Hampstead, London and trained at Putney School of Art. Prior to working as an artist he was a specialist in early and contemporary music and the tonality of his painting and mark making reflects this. The relationship between painting and music has always fascinated Tobin, and music has acted as a tutelary figure since his early explorations in painting. Harmony and counterpoint, and the compositional techniques of the early polyphonists have been enriching - if intangible - influences. Working on several paintings simultaneously allows Tobin to tap into this quality of multi-vocality. The life of colour, its vibrations and emotional impact, has grown from his earlier engagement with sound.

Tobin's work often reveals an adherence to a series of recurring motifs. The spherical form, the 'orb' as both sign and symbol, operates on many levels in his painting. It has become an organising principle; orbiting through different cycles the orb is sometimes visually manifest whilst at other times lost in the process of painting. This form offers dynamic geometric and formal possibilities, containing and releasing space and potential energies. It symbolises both a point of entry and departure, and is a portal for an exploration of the numinous. The orb remains a vital form and presence in Tobin's work; it presents itself as the painting's sealing figure of completion, in a sense its signature.