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  • surf and seas series

  • shelly beach turkeys series

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Welcome to the website of Fran Barratt - artist. Fran lives, surfs and makes art on the beautiful Mid North Coast of New South Wales, Australia and, with sculptor husband Steve, runs The Old Church Comboyne to showcase their work.”

Artist Statement

For me the world is full of a fluid, vibrant energy. The pressure of this energy drives my art. It resonates within and presses in the air around me. The shapes and curves in my sculptures and paintings create a rhythm which echos the rhythm of this vibration, evoking a sense of spirit and land. Telling the stories from my life.

In my early 20's I realised I could make art. Having bought some Fimo to remodel a chipped spout on a favourite teapot I fell in love with pushing and forming this material into shapes, so inspired I stayed up all night making a sculpture of my cat Sam. I was hooked. Using terracotta clay I sculpted abstract and semi-representational pieces. Big curves full to bursting with energy curling around to a stop and then pushing back out into another fullness.

Over time I felt the desire to tell stories with my art so I began sketching and experimenting with painting.
As I was moving through this phase I drew many pages of round sculptural forms. You can see them under 'Doodles' on my 'Series' page. Like my sculptures this was an obsessive desire to express that pushing of energy in my world.

The paintings that I subsequently made were narrative, sculptural and colourful - having pots of colour to play with after working in clay was very exciting. I could paint about my life and how it impacted on me; intense moments when surfing, events that had affected me or the spirit of the animals that I knew. I'd focus on the dominating moment, the energy within and around it, omitting other details. This gave the work a surreal dreamlike feel.

After a traumatic road accident I developed a generally looser, quicker, more abstract style, still with full curves and rhythm though more muted colours with a strong black contrast.  Enjoying the spontaneity,  I'd often have no plan or idea in mind when I'd start a painting, just a compulsion to make shapes. A story may or may not develop as I went along. Sometimes I'd turn a painting upside down and finish it off that way. I began to use symbolic images to represent the sun, ocean/water, woods and animals and in time more colour returned, painting or drawing self-contained worlds of humour and whimsy.

In my current work, based on many years study of comparative mythology, I've expanded on the traditional stories and symbols I was brought up with to further explore my connection to all-that-is, the undefined unseen energy that permeates my life.

My sculptor/potter husband Steve, and I, run The Old Church at Comboyne to showcase our work. We're open on Sundays and I invite you to visit us and enjoy my journey, and the beautiful Comboyne.

Fran Barratt read more

My Latest Artwork

  • An abiding passion of mine has been the study of comparative mythology with a particular interest in western civilization.

    I've coupled this interest with my passion for surfing and begun using traditional mythological stories and symbols in my paintings and drawings to explore the issue surfers face each time they paddle out - the fear of death (by shark - ick!) and the desire for life (that great wave!).   

Latest News


    Visit us at our new venue, the old Catholic Church in the scenic mountain village of Comboyne on the lush and verdant Comboyne Plateau, 700 metres above sea level.


    A relaxing 55 minute drive west through the hinterland of Port Macquarie.


    We are open Sundays or other times by appointment.

  • Mobile: 0478 640 686

Contact Us

Fran Barratt
1 Thone St Comboyne
NSW 2429
Open Sundays and by appointment

email: franbarratt@westnet.com.au
Mobile: 0478 640 686