Kathy Barber was born Palmerston North in 1965. She forged a successful career in advertising, before leaving to pursue her early interest in art. In the late 90's she attended Whitecliff College of Art & Design, took painting and drawing classes at Art Station, followed by private tuition with Mathew Browne. Since 2000, Kathy has regularly exhibited in New Zealand and Australia, and amassed an impressive collection of awards, including being several times a finalist in the Wallace Awards and winner of the 2015 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award.

Barber's paintings develop out of landscape, language, thoughts and emotions. In her morae recent work, Barber entwines an abstract set of gestural marks with calligraphic letterforms to create representations of thoughts, forming entangled structures that are curling and complex, delicate and dense. Thoughts, these works suggest, are like intricate knots, their logic fine but elusive. This ability to show light as if shining from a celestial window, or flickering through water gives her paintings a special quality. Slowly and meticulously executed, the transparent glazes she uses create images that hover between the known and the imagined.