Melissa Barber is an independent artist based in the Central West town of Canowindra, New South Wales, Australia.


Her work is predominantly exhibited at her studio in Canowindra, occasionally  with other commercial galleries with whom she collaborates and from popup exhibitions that she organises. It can also be arranged by appointment for work to be brought to you for viewing. Please contact the studio for available paintings.


When visiting the studio enjoy tea and cake on the verandah whilst discussing life and art.


She opened her first gallery in Canowindra in 1999 which established a strong independent approach in bringing an audience to her work. She has mainly exhibited through her own galleries in the past, and participated in a number of external exhibitions.


Her paintings are in private collections throughout Australia, France, England, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Malaysia, China, and New Zealand.


International couriering can be easily arranged for overseas clients. Pack and Send is the preferred courier for local and international couriering requirements. 


"My work combines stylised abstraction with the readily identifiable. Deeply influenced by Japanese and Chinese art for their use of negative space versus detail, flat colour and strong use of golds and silvers, my paintings reflect an aesthetically decorative, yet spiritually meditative response to nature.


Composition is governed by the balance of concentrated fine brush work and impasto relief with vast expanses of negative space that implies close referencing to the principles of the ancient Japanese art of flower arranging. A concentration of foliage detail maybe balanced by a rogue sprig that pushes into the negative space within a painting. In the Roses and Poppies series each flower is positioned in relativity to the next, appearing random but whose position is carefully decided.


The linear style of monochromatic painting on panels of glistening golds and silvers also reflects the two dimensional character of Japanese Screen paintings and woodblock prints. Flowers, trees, peacock feathers are all reduced to their basic forms, yet are easily identifiable; the head of a flower, the cluster of foliage on a tree and the eye of a peacock feather all take on a jewel like appearance glistening against shimmering metallic backgrounds.


I paint in series format, working on several at the same time. It is apparent that each series influences the next, and earlier series are reborn in later ones."


2017 Finalist Calleen Art Award

2016 Pop Up Show at the former Melissa Barber Galleries building Canowindra

2016 The Cicada and the Plum Solo exhibition at The Corner Store Gallery Orange

2015 Finalist Central West Regional Art Award

2014 Finalist Central West Regional Art Award

2013 Finalist Central West Regional Art Award

2012 Exhibition at Grenfell Gallery, Grenfell

2011 Reopening of The Melissa Barber Galleries, Canowindra

          Art Melbourne with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

          Exhibition with The Melissa Barber Galleries at Finn’s Store, Canowindra

2010 Rolf Harris and Melissa Barber with Aarwun Gallery, Canberra

          Art Sydney with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

          Les Derniers Coquelicots and The Spirit of Place with Jayes Gallery, Molong

          Exhibited with Art of Orange, Orange

          Group Exhibition 2011 with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

          Art Melbourne with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

2009 Art Sydney with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

          Art Melbourne with Gallery Oscar, Sydney

          Glisten Solo with Gallery Oscar

          Kinross Wollaroi School Art Fair, Orange

2008 Ted Lewis, Amanda McLean, Melissa Barber and David Bromley with Aarwun Gallery, Canberra

          Exhibited with McGee’s Gallery, Mornington

2007 Spring Exhibition with Aarwun Gallery, Canberra

2006 Exhibited with Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery, Sydney

2005 The Magic Hill Exhibition Solo at Ravenswood School for Girls, Sydney

          Exhibited with Artistry Galleries, Melbourne

          Exhibited with Corporate Art, the Gold Coast

2004 Dickerson, Boyd and Barber with Aarwun Gallery, Canberra

          Art Sydney with Aarwun Gallery, Canberra

2003 Exhibited at the Leftbank Gallery, Canowindra

          Relaunches her own gallery as The Melissa Barber Galleries – featuring her own work

1999 Establishes her own gallery and cafe - Gallery Koolabah Cafe, Canowindra – featuring her own work

1994 Exhibited Ada’s Place, Millthorpe

          Exhibits Zonta Club of Orange Art Exhibition