BARKER FAIRLEY, R.C.A.
Private Collection, Ontario
Gary Michael Dault, Barker Fairley Portraits, Methuen Publications, Agincourt, Ontario, 1981, pages X and XVII.
Barker Fairley wrote, “What I’m seeking is an aspect of the face. Something by which a face becomes humane and reflects on humanity. When it does happen that way, it happens because of the visual freedom I give myself.”
While this portrait, like others we have offered by Barker Fairley, is titled and represents a specific person as opposed to an archetype, it seems evident that he was looking for something of the universal in this picture rather than the specific. Here, Ellen Adams, appears as “woman.” No backdrop situates her, no prop gives us a clue to her proclivities, personality or vocation. Rather she is rendered as timeless as a Greek kore.