Barry was a painter, sculptor, and ceramicist. He was born in England where he studied art and had a studio. He emigrated to Vancouver in 1969 and lived and worked there until his death in 2017. In his later years he painted works which dealt with the ongoing loss of species due to the appalling and catastrophic destruction of the world’s rain forests.

Barry Cogswell had been deeply involved in the making of art since the early 1960s. During the seventies and early eighties he had some success as a sculptor, and in 1983 was invited to exhibit in Stuttgart Germany in an exhibition showcasing contemporary trends in Canadian installation art. For personal reasons he then quit exhibiting and began developing work which, for him, more accurately reflected the realities of the world at the end of the 20th century. He found a way of combining his horror at the insanity of the human destruction of the natural environment with his desire to return to the discipline of painting.

He chose to paint details of the canopy of the tropical rainforest with renderings of assumed museum specimens of highly threatened butterfly species from the area of New Guinea.

As he said, “Suddenly there seemed a very valid reason to paint; to paint a subject that I care deeply about. To paint for myself . . . not for exhibitions . . . not for recognition . . . for myself alone.”

As you will see, these paintings make little reference to the current trends in contemporary western art. Instead “…they have been dealing, on a very personal level, with my deeply heartfelt frustration at the worldwide habitat destruction and resultant loss of animal and plant species.”

For a number of years he developed this work with no intention to exhibit. However he later realized that he could use these paintings to benefit the environment by contributing part of the proceeds of any sales to, or by having benefits for, such groups as the David Suzuki Foundation and other wildlife organizations.


1939 February 20 Born – London, England
1969 Emigrated to Canada
1979 Became Canadian Citizen but kept British citizenship
1965-2004 Taught art at colleges in the UK and Canada
1982-2000 Coordinator, Studio Art Program, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
2017 May 9 Died – Vancouver, BC, Canada


Vancouver Art Gallery
Canada Council Art Bank
Federal Government of Canada
Banff Center for the Arts
City of Vancouver
City of West Vancouver
City of North Vancouver
City of Edmonton
Vancouver General Hospital
Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver
Royal Columbian Hospital, New Westminster
Vancouver School Board


Making: a journey
Ferry Building Gallery, West Vancouver, BC, Canada

Greenlinks ’07: Inheritance
The Amelia Douglas Gallery and the Douglas College Institute of Urban Ecology
Douglas College, New Westminster, BC, Canada 

Ferry Building Gallery, West Vancouver, BC, Canada

A Delicate Balance
The Mildred Erb Gallery, Nelson Museum, Nelson, B.C.

Delicate Balance
Pendulum Gallery, Vancouver

Recent Paintings
The Capilano College Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Brittany Landscape,
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada 
concurrent with
Ethiopian Landscape
The Charles H.Scott Gallery, Emily Carr School of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Steel Sculptures
The Pender Street Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Alternate Space Exhibition
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Artists Within Our CityScape
CityScape Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Birdwing Butterflies and Other Threatened Wildlife
with students from five North Vancouver schools.
CityScape Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

1984 – 1996
Occasional Group Exhibitions
Capilano College Art Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Raume und Installationen, Kunstler aus Kanada
Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, West Germany

The Winnipeg Perspective 1980 – sites,
The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MA, Canada

Sculpture Today/Canada
The Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, DC, USA

Sculpture Today/Canada
AV presentation
10th International Sculpture Conference
Ontario Place, Toronto, ON, Canada

Three Man Show
with Stan Brain and Pierre Coupey
Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

From this point of view 60 BC Artists
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Group Show
Capilano College Gallery, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sculpture Society of BC
Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC, Canada

slide survey of BC art
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Canada


Commonwealth Sculpture Symposium
Edmonton, AB, Canada

Wood Sculpture of the Americas
West Vancouver, BC, Canada


Structured Dolmen 5
Banff Centre for the Arts, Banff, AB, Canada

Structured Dolmen 2
Federal Taxation Data Centre, Surrey, BC, Canada

Integrated Plane
North Vancouver Civic Centre, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

Ceramic mural
Surrey Technical College, Guildford, Surrey, UK


Canada Council Project Cost Grant

Elected Member, Royal Canadian Academy for the Arts

1975 – 1976
Canada Council Arts Grant B, for sculpture


2004 – 2016
Instructor of woodworking
Roundhouse Community Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada

1975 – 2004
Instructor of drawing, sculpture and ceramics
Studio Art Department, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

2000 – 2001
A one year sabbatical to produce paintings for ‘Delicate Balance’ exhibition

1982 – 2000
Coordinator, Studio Art Department, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

1992 – 2001
Member representing Institutes and Colleges,
Fine Arts Overview team,
Curriculum Branch, Ministry of Education, Government of British Columbia

A 6 month leave to teach and study at the Malaysian Institute of Art, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

1992 – 1994
Divisional Chair, Visual & Performing Arts Division, Capilano College, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

1986 – ?
Instructor of drawing
Kwantlen College, Surrey, BC, Canada

Instructor of sculpture
Banff Summer School of the Arts, Banff, AB, Canada

Instructor, 3D division
Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Vancouver, BC, Canada

1970 – 1975
Sessional evening instructor of pottery and sculpture
Vancouver School Board, Vancouver School of Art, Burnaby Parks & Recreation, Vancouver City College, Langara

1970 – 1975
Instructor of drawing, sculpture and pottery
Douglas College, Surrey, BC, Canada

Instructor of pottery
Okanagan Summer School of the Arts, Epenticton, BC, Canada

1971 and 1972
Instructor of pottery
Vancouver School of Art, Summer School

1965 – 1969
Instructor of pottery
Ceramic Department,
Farnham School of Art, (now: West Surrey college of Art and Design)
Farnham, UK


1960 – 1964
Hammersmith College of Art, London, England

National Diploma in Design (pottery – main, mosaics – secondary)

Intermediate Diploma in Fine Art

General Certificate of Education, Hurn Court School, England


4 month research studying plant structures in Central America

1992 – 2017

6-month sabbatical to study plant structures in Malaysia

1965 – 2004
Post secondary art teacher and administrator

1972 – 1985

1969 – 1975
Furniture Designer

1970 – 1974
Designer & producer – ceramic products
Just Fine Design, Sole Proprietor, North Vancouver, BC, Canada

1965 – 1969
Designer & producer – ceramic products,
Cogswell Carruthers Design Associates, Partner
London, England

Design Manager
Malta Industries Pottery, Malta

1964 – 1965
Traveled – North Africa and the Mediterranean


Rosenberg, Ann         “Barry Cogswell/Ethiopian Landscape; Brittany Landscape”. The Capilano Review, 22 (1982), 27-42.

Holden, Laura Anne  A review of “The Winnipeg Perspective 1980 Sites. The                                                             Winnipeg Tribune, May 1980.

Rosenberg, Ann         “Barry Cogswell/recent sculpture”. The Capilano Review, 11 (Spring 1979), 113-131.

Bingham, Russell       “The Commonwealth Sculpture Symposium: a critical                                                     assessment”. Artmagazine, 41 (N0v-Dec 1978, 44-46.

McNeill, Stewart        “Wood Sculpture”. Arts West, (Nov-Dec 1977), 19-21.

Perry, Arthur             “Vancouver: Wood Sculpture of the Americas”. Artmagazine, 35 (Oct-Nov 1977), 112-115.

Sandiford, Judith and Gorman, Jim “Wood Sculpture of the Americas; the results”. Vanguard, 7 (Oct 1977), 21-23.

Rosenberg, Ann         “Wood Sculpture of the Americas” The Capilano Review, 12 (Fall 1977) 205-239.

Perry, Arthur             “Contemporary Sculpture object of indifference”. The Vancouver Province, Dec 20, 1976, 27.

Lowndes, Joan           “Architecture in an indigenous setting”. The Vacouver Sun, 10 June, 1975.

Rosenberg, Ann         “Sculpture to suit a site”. Vanguard, 5 (June-July 1875), 8.

Rosenberg, Ann         “Barry Cogswell”. Vanguard, 10 (Dec 74-Jan 75), 6.