I was born and raised in Zurich. From my earliest youth I loved to draw and paint, primarily horses. When the artist Edwin Wenger (1919-1992) came into our family in the 1960s he taught us various printing techniques and the days spent in his studio were highlights. Edi belonged to the “Zürcher Konkreten” and his abstractionist way of seeing the world profoundly influenced me. He taught me to see not only objects but also the space between them, and how both change with shifting standpoint.

At sixteen, armed with my first SLR camera, I began to photograph in black-and-white, first on a trip to Morocco (1969) and later to Tunisia (1972). I soon realized that it was not people that I was fascinated with but rather the built environment with its manifold forms, surfaces, light and shadow. The next logical step led me to study architecture at the ETH in Zurich 1973-79 where Hans Ess (1911-90) sharpened my awareness in perception and proportions. His subtle “Ess-Übungen” (exercises) were legendary at the school. During that time I began to photograph in color.

In 1982 I moved with my husband to the US, and in the late 1990s I continued my education at the New York Institute of Photography. My themes in Pennsylvania were mostly horses, the lush vegetation of my surroundings seen through a macro lens, old barns and the derelict factories of Bethlehem Steel. Digital photography not only allowed me to gain better control of my photographs on the computer, but at the same time, through instant feedback, also permitted me unlimited experimentation with depth of field, shutter speed, and a moving camera. The “Photo Painting” pictures that resulted from these experiments were first exhibited in Pennsylvania in 2007. As the term suggests, I was trying to discover ways in which photography and painting could converge and the boundaries between the two could touch.

In 2007 we returned to the southern alpine region of Switzerland and settled into my remodeled ancestral farmhouse in Poschiavo. There I continued to photograph what was around me. I believe one can create meaningful images out of anything, anywhere. There is no such thing as an uninteresting subject, it all depends on one’s point of view and how one goes about seeing it. 

My first Swiss exhibition showed the series “Poschiavo im Schnee” (Poschiavo in the Snow) in 2010. In the views of the town, gently falling snowflakes draw a curtain over ancient walls and diffuse their edges and spatial depth. Three further exhibitions followed in Zurich, Poschiavo, and 2014 in Sirnach, where I showed mountains in the clouds together with my friend Erika Engeler who approached the same theme as a watercolorist. There is almost always a mountain pass between Poschiavo and anywhere, thus mountains became one of my themes. Bad weather attracts me more than sunshine; it hides, reveals and suggests. No view is ever the same, the variation is endless. The mountains themselves are defined by rock, light and water in all its forms. Alpine vegetation provides only anecdotal color in an essentially black-and-white world. Scale is of no consequence; detail is equivalent to the grand view.

 

EXHIBITS

2007    Durham Gallery, Riegelsville, PA, USA (group show)

2007    Fox Optical & Gallery, Bethlehem, PA, USA (single show)

2010    Notenpunkt, Zürich, Switzerland (single show)

2011    Notenpunkt, Zürich, Switzerland (single show)                                

2012    Casa Console, Poschiavo, Switzerland (single show)

2014    Galerie im Rank, Sirnach, Switzerland (with watercolorist Erika Engeler)    

2017   Barrow River Arts Festival, Borris, Ireland (group show)

 

BOOKS

French Touch - The classical approach to harmony and lightness in timeless dressage by Jean-Claude Barry (blurb.com 2010)

Le travail à la main selon l’école française by Jean-Claude Barry (Lavauzelle Graphic 2014)

Équitation française - Principes et méthode illustrés by Jean-Claude Barry (Lavauzelle Graphic 2017)