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Bob Barker

Born: Pudsey, West Yorkshire
Lives and works: Bradford
Exhibitions: Leeds City Museum (2017)
“The echoes of my past become my future paintings.”

Inspired by the Yorkshire mill towns that shaped his youth, Bob is known for his ‘Northern Impressionism’ style.


Since being gifted a set of oil paints as a 12-year-old boy, the artist has been captivated by what can be captured with a paintbrush. Where others see soot-blackened brick and polluted skies, Bob sees light and colour. Wielding a palette of blacks, greys and browns, he recreates his working-class roots through gritty depictions of work, love and play.

Drawing inspiration from the Old Masters, his work is a series of tableaus which immortalise the light and shadows that have captivated him for a lifetime. ​Often his signature motif of two hearts can be spotted, symbolising a feeling of togetherness. 

Bob says: “When I paint, it’s almost as if this northern light pours from my brush onto the canvas. It transforms everything it touches, from the cobbled streets to the terraced houses, mills and back alleyways.”

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Inside the world of Bob Barker

The idea for Bob's signature heart motif developed after he began doodling umbrellas and noticed a heart shape taking form. Following this, Bob asked his son and daughter-in-law to pose for him. While the concept started as an experiment, it now represents a feeling of togetherness.

Bob has recently begun to add a little more colour to each painting by building through layers of glazes. This classic technique produces subtle hints of colour while retaining the timeless ‘Bob Barker’ look and is influenced by the Old Masters of the Renaissance period. 

Latest events

Bob Barker | Leeds County Arcade

We're delighted to invite you to meet nostalgic oil painter, Bob Barker. After his popular exhibition at Leeds City Museum in 2017, Bob will be returning to the city to present new pieces from his wonderful collection, Northern Impressionism.

Our latest spring releases from Bob Barker depict a nostalgic take on his youth encouraging others to reflect on their own memories. Bob also experiments with composition looking at new ways to present his work and to challenge himself as an artist. As a celebration of Bob Barker's Northern Impressionism collection, there will be an exclusive boutique edition released depicting Leeds City Hall. Come along to meet Bob at our Leeds gallery and be the first to see his new pieces alongside his boutique, 'Heart Of The City'.


From the blog

AVAILABLE NOW: Northern Impressionism by Bob Barker

As one of the UK’s best-loved artists, Bob has touched hearts with his charming depictions of working-class life. He returns for 2019 with the latest instalment of his popular collection.

2018's most popular artworks

We've rounded up the bestselling pieces of the year, as decided by you! From Bob Barker to Billy Connolly, paintings to sculptures, our collectors are as versatile as our art.

Magazines and brochures

Fine Art Collector | Autumn 2018

This issue is brimming with insights and news from the art world, as well as all of your favourite artists.

Fine Art Collector | Spring 2018

Get inspired with the new spring edition of our Fine Art Collector magazine! In this issue, you can find a guide on the application of colour theory, an exclusive interview with the CEO of Cass Art, and much more.

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