Colleen McLaughlin Barlow

About Colleen McLaughlin Barlow


Colleen's work is a response to the beauty of the natural world in human and animal anatomy as well as astronomy. She has explored these themes -- usually the preserve of science -- from her own artist's vantage point charting new territory.
She was the first artist-in-residence at an international telescope -- the Canada France Hawaii Telescope on the big island of Hawaii. Living and working amongst the astro-physicists, astronomers, engineers and software people, she made art about their lives and work and about the telescope itself. She offered creative art breaks to the employees, which were so popular that she was invited back two years later. She recently returned from a similar residency in Chile at the Gemini Telescope in the Andes Mountains.

Born in Vancouver in 1957, Colleen moved to Oakville, Ontario in 1971. She attended St. Mildred's Lightbourn School in Oakville and then Carleton University in Ottawa where she studied journalism and art history. She worked as a journalist for two decades before she changed careers and became an artist.
While in active treatment for cancer, Colleen went to live and study art in Paris. After two years of treatment including numerous operations, she was declared cancer free. She has now been cancer free for seventeen years.
 Represented by four galleries worldwide -- two in Montreal, one in London and the other in Tokyo, she is happy and fulfilled to be alive and to be an artist.

One of the constants in Colleen's life as an artist has been her ongoing work at the UBC Biology Department and then later at the department's new home at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.  For over 15 years she has created work inspired by the specimens found in the collections of this remarkable museum.