Oliver Barratt was born in 1962 and studied at West Surrey College of Art and Design, Farnham (1979-80), North East London Polytechnic (1980-81) and Falmouth School of Art (1983-85) and currently lives and works in Kent.
In 1990 he was awarded the Henry Moore fellowship and has had solo shows in London, Kent, Canterbury and Somerset and participated in many group exhibitions at The Hayward Gallery (2001) The Guggenheim, Venice and Royal Academy, London. Some of his commissions include the Everest Memorial at Base Camp of Mount Everest, Nepal, a commission for the City of Liverpool as European City of Culture in addition to corporate commissions from Fuller's brewery, Eastern Arts, National Power, Unilever plc., Chadbourne and Parke, the New Art Centre, Richard Rogers, Jane Miles, James Cazalet and Cardiff Bay Arts Trust.
Barratt has taught at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, Camberwell School of Art, Wimbledon School of Art and Sevenoaks and Byham Shaw schools, London.
T. S. Eliot is a major influence on Oliver Barratt's work due to his ability to encapsulate and transform an ephemeral, fleeting or melancholic moment into something momentous. Such transformations take place in Barratt's work; where fragmented and incomplete narratives solidify into form, shapes drift into one another and surfaces belie meaning. Barratt writes of his sculptures:
“they are elegant and clear, tense and lithe, simple and essential, quiet and enigmatic. Forms are paired down, on the fringes of minimal, but retaining a romantic, emotional sincerity.”