Kathy Barry is based in Te Whanganui-a-Tara Wellington. She has a MFA from Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland (2004) and a Postgraduate Diploma in Art History from Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington (2001).
Barry has been exhibiting since 2001, but her practice took its current turn in 2012, when she began producing watercolour drawings that captured the energy fields she began to see and feel that have structured the series she has produced since that date. Her works have been included in the 32nd Bienal de Sāo Paulo in 2016, and in Believe Not Every Spirit, But Try the spirits at Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne in 2015. She staged Homeworld, a two-person exhibition with Isobel Thom, at Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery in 2014, after completing the artist residency at McCahon House in West Auckland in 2012. Most recently, Barry was featured in Energy Work: Kathy Barry / Sarah Smuts-Kennedy (2022), curated by Christina Barton at Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery. This was her first substantial survey exhibition which gave visual form to intuited energy fields that exceed the human sensorium.
Barry is represented in numerous public and private collections, including: Ngā Puhipuhi o Te Herenga Waka, Victoria University of Wellington Art Collection; The Koopman Collection, National Library of the Netherlands; Sir George Grey Special Collections, Heritage Collections Auckland Libraries; The University of Auckland Art Collection; Wellington City Council Art Collection; The Collection of The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; The Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi O Whakatu.