Tom Barter is an Auckland based artist who works in the mediums of glass and ceramic, his work typically explores themes of flora, fauna and local landscape.
Barter graduated with a BFA from CSU Humboldt in 1988. He quickly commenced the life of a professional artist specialising in hand made ceramic murals, ceramic sculpture and cast glass. His skill set as a ceramicist and tile maker was developed during a 6 month residency at the Moravian pottery and tile works. With an interest in installations and site specific artwork he started to combine the tile making into larger site specific works.
Barter's career started in Sacramento California where he made several pieces for the city of Sacramento. He then moved to southern California, where he worked on projects in Los Angeles, including two tile fountains for the Municipal Water District of Southern California at Union Station in LA, as well as a murals, facades, and sculptures for the city of Long Beach. Barter relocated to New Zealand in 2003 where he still resides, he continued his work completing public commissions as well as many private works. He has also been active in teaching and currently is the Visual Arts Teacher at Saint Kentigern Boys’ school.
Tom Barter is well known for his free-standing silhouettes of the Auckland natural icon- Rangitoto. These pieces are created in high quality cast glass incorporating subtle flax textures impressed on the surface. Rangitoto Island is a volcanic island in the Hauraki Gulf near Auckland. Rangitoto was formed by a series of eruptions commencing at least 6000 years ago. The 5.5 km wide island is an iconic and widely visible landmark of Auckland. Its distinctive symmetrical form makes it a popular subject matter for artists to depict. Beyond its unique physical form, a number of Māori myths exist surrounding the island, leading the island to become a symbol of the historical memory of the local Māori iwi (tribes).
Working in ceramic and glass Tom Barter creates work that explores themes of flora, fauna and local landscape.