description: Glenys Barton (b.1944) is a sculptor working mainly in ceramic and bronze. She studied at the Royal College of Art, London, and gained rapid success after graduating, winning a significant prize at the International Ceramics Exhibition in 1972 and serving on the Crafts Advisory Committee as its youngest member. At this early stage in her career, Angela Flowers offered Barton her first solo exhibition in London. This resulted in a career-long partnership with what is now Flowers Galleries, with whom Barton has presented regular solo exhibitions since 1974.
She has many sculptures in international collections and her work has been exhibited widely in Britain and abroad. Two simultaneous retrospective exhibitions in 1997 examined separate aspects of her work: portraiture at the National Portrait Gallery and her more general figurative work at Manchester Art Gallery. These two shows came together the following year at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery in Stoke-on-Trent, the town of her birth.
Barton’s medal In Profile reprises themes and interests that have been consistent in her work for many years: the shut-eyed, dreaming figure, the multi-faced head, and layered projections that combine sculpted and drawn languages of representation. Barton’s work expresses a keen interest in the physical, its processes and materials; but this is balanced both by a tendency towards the graphic, which intimates rather than embodies, and a sensitivity to language which is evident in the titles of her works. Although Barton is reluctant to comment on individual works, and what they might mean, the title of this piece, In Profile, might refer as much to the outline of a person’s character as it is apprehended in another’s mind, as much as to the line of their silhouette.