Orla Barry’s work focuses on language, both written and spoken, as well as on visual deconstruction and displacement of language; via frequently associative techniques, she researches the semantics of her mother tongue and its cultural imbedding and implications. Her work is strongly poetic and lyrical, crossing a wide variety of media, evoking non-linear narratives, undercurrents of emotion and dealing with themes as linguistic intoxication, sexual identity, proximity and distance, melancholy and frivolity, chance and fate. She works in many forms, including performance, video, text, sound, and photographic installations.
Orla Barry lived in Belgium for sixteen years and now lives and works in Wexford, Ireland, where she also runs a flock of 80 pedigree Lleyn and Zwartbles sheep. She has recently had performances at The Project Arts Centre, Dublin, The South London Gallery & Tate Modern, London, If I cant dance, Amsterdam. The Playground Festival, STUK, Leuven and De Appel in Amsterdam. She has also had solo shows at Mothers Tankstation, Dublin, CCB, Museu Bernardo, Lisbon (2011, with Rui Chafes), Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin (2006), SMAK Ghent (2005), Camden Arts Centre London (2005), and W139 Amsterdam (2005), Argos, Brussels (2002). She has taken part in Manifesta 2 and in group shows such as Sense and Sensibility in Sao Paulo, Some Parts of this World in Helsinki. She has been awarded the prize of the Palais de Beaux Arts in the ‘Prix de la Jeune Peinture Belge’ in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Glen Dimplex Prize in 1999.