Barry Tate

Fool's Gold

10 December 2022 – 29 January 2023

Opening | Saturday 10 December 3 – 5 pm

‘Fool’s Gold’ will be a spectacular installation to celebrate the end of 2022. Warrnambool artist Barry Tate’s work is a slow-building humour. His enigmatic sculptural ceramics and multimedia works combine visual invention, story telling and commentary into contemporary societal issues: particularly in Australia with the effects of floods, bushfires, politics and religion. 

Using the construct of awe and light to guide you into his immersive altar, Barry Tate discusses immanence; how things are before and after the ‘Fools Gold’.

A beautiful bewilderment combining his childhood interest in devotion and power within religious iconography, love of the natural wonders and grand architecture, all influencing his upbringing to how this may be misguided, causing concerns for religion as monetised and the impacts of climate change. If you have read Steinbeck ‘The Pearl’ where the protagonist throws an oversized pearl back into the ocean after its presence has brought about nothing but destruction,corruption and family breakdown. This shipwreck altar on the brink of sinking, collapsing under its own weight leaves the audience with a similar notion, where oblivion has become the true spectacle.


is a ceramic sculptor and mixed media artist based in Warrnambool, Victoria. 

Tate holds a Diploma of Fine Art from Deakin University, a Post Graduate Fellowship in Fine Art (Ceramics) and a Post-Graduate Diploma of Education from the University of Melbourne. Tate is an esteemed Educator and Mentor with an ambitiously detailed and intensive art practice that spans over three decades. 

Recent accolades include Tate as a Winner for the This is Portland inaugural 2021 TRAILS Sculpture Exhibition; a finalist in the Hillview Sculpture Biennial and the Western Sydney University Sculpture Award & Exhibition. His works are held in the collections of Griffith University Brisbane, Warrnambool Art Gallery, and in private collections in Australia and Japan. He has an upcoming museum exhibition at Warrnambool Public Art Gallery April, 2022 

Tate’s epic ceramic sculptures and kitsch paintings are iconographic in subtext, alluding to Rococo art with its ornate qualities and theatrics. His meditations on contemporary value systems are apparent throughout his repertoire of works to explore themes of spirituality, wonder, idealisation, death, decay and regrowth. This playful use of allegory in his practice highlights the excesses of human desire and the impacts on human security.

Full CV