Oliver Raymond Barker works with the mechanics and alchemy of photography to make images, objects and structures that expand upon what photography is and can be. Working predominantly with alternative analogue techniques he uses photography as a tool to uncover imagined narratives & unseen processes, framed by his interest in culture, ecology and spirituality.

His practice is sparked by immersion in nature - swimming, climbing and walking within peripheral landscapes. This exploration has confirmed in him the vital need to protect these surviving fragile ecosystems, also to illuminate the hidden stories of exploitation and control that are perpetuated by corporations, institutions and powerful individuals.

The way he creates work mirrors the concerns above – a haptic approach that combines experimental processes and research as a form of quiet activism. Over the past ten years he has worked on a range of interdisciplinary projects connected with landscapes and ecology - collaborating with artists, farmers, geographers, scientists & local community groups.


Recent exhibitions and displays include Energy: Sparks from the Collection at the V&A Museum (2023),  NOUA, Norway (2022), Belfast Photo Festival (2019) &  UNSEEN Photo Festival (2018). From 2014 - 2015 he was Creative Associate at the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute where he collaborated on The Natural Alchemy project.

He was nominated for the Foam Paul Huf Award in 2023 and in 2020 he was awarded the Grain Portfolio Award at Format Festival. His book Trinity was subsequently printed in 2021 by the publisher Loose Joints.

He has delivered talks and workshops at a range of institutions such as Tate Modern, Tate St Ives, Cove Park (Scotland), UNSEEN & YATOO (South Korea). Alongside his practice he works as Lecturer in Photography at Falmouth University.

‘This is photography deliberately against the grain of conventional practice. It is a kind of image making that paradoxically deals as much with the invisible as the visible.’
Martin Barnes / Senior Curator of Photographs, Victoria & Albert Museum

‘ Raymond Barker’s backpack obscura shelters him from storm and light at once - its own form of retreat, echoing in modern form the beehive oratories and shelters of the peregrini…’
Robert Macfarlane / Writer & Fellow of Emmanuel College, Cambridge

Installation of Conduit / Goonhilly Downs, Cornwall, 2019.
( Image credit : Artur Tixiliski ) 


Born Wales, 1980
Lives and works Cornwall, UK

Bourneville College of Art : Foundation in Art & Design
Birmingham Institute of Art & Design : BA Photography

Lecturer at Falmouth University / BA Photography


Dark Peak Photo Festival: February

2023 /
Victoria & Albert Museum : Energy, Sparks from the Collection
The Hive, Birmingham: Beyond Silver

2022 /
Atelier Noua, Bodø, Norway: Trinity

2021  /
Grays Wharf, Penryn, Cornwall: Moving Landscapes

2020  /

Officine Fotografiche Roma & Milano

Forum for Contemporary Photography, Dresden
Ningbo Photobook Festival, Ningbo, China
RAW Phototriennale, Worpswede, Germany

2019  /
Organ Vida - International Photography Festival, Zagreb
Fotopia Collective Festival, Romania
Photobook Week, Aarhus, Denmark
Encontros da Imagem, Portugal
PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin
IED, Madrid:  Istituto Europeo di Design during PHotoEspaña
Belfast Photo Festival: Golden Thread Gallery, LAPC

2018 /
Tea Building, London E2: Pic.up prints, Pic.London
UNSEEN photo festival, Amsterdam: CO-OP, LAPC

2017 /
Newlyn Art Gallery, Newlyn: Forest Obscura                                
Four Corners Gallery, London: London Pinhole Festival
St John on Bethnal Green, London: Photo Pioneer I Photo Primitive

2016 /
Geumgang Nature Art Biennale, South Korea
Penwith Gallery, St Ives: Photo Pioneer I Photo Primitive

2015 /
The Exchange, Penzance: Winter Print Fair
Back Lane West, Redruth: Cross Currents
The Exchange, Penzance: The Clubhouse AGM Book Show
Centre for Contemporary Art & the Natural World, Exeter

2014 /
Penwith Gallery, St Ives: Making Time
Syson Gallery, Nottingham: Strange business
Crypt Gallery, St Ives: Prints from the Studio
Environment & Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter: Natural Alchemy
Back Lane West, Redruth, Cornwall: Natural Alchemy

2011 /
Polwheveral, Cornwall: Gather – Resurgence magazine 45th Birthday
Kestle Barton, Helston, Cornwall: In Abundance
The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall: Phenomena of nature


2021 / Trinity : Publication & design by Loose Joints, comissioned texts by Martin Barnes and Nick Hunt.

2020 /
Of Earth, For Earth : The meaning of a mine / Kathryn Moore, Dana Finch & Bridget Storrie. Featured Artist.

2017 /
Anatomy of Stone: Artist publication, hand printed & bound, unique

2016 / 
Photo Pioneer I Photo Primitive : Exhibition catalogue        

2015 / 
Geumgang Nature Art Biennale,  Breathing Art: Exhibition catalogue
Natural Alchemy: Artist publication, hand printed & bound, Edition of 5.
Dark Mountain, Techne / Issue 8: Featured Artist

2014 / 
Making Time, New Photographic Constructions:Exhibition catalogue
Dark Mountain / Issue 5:  Featured Artist


2022 /
Trinity at OFFPRINT: Tate Modern
In conversation with Eugenie Shinkle

2018 / 2019
The Photographers Gallery, London: Planetary Processing, Peer Forum
Cove Park Arts, Scotland: Backpack Obscura residency

2017 /
Dartington Hall, Totnes: In Other Tongues Symposium, invited speaker
London College of Communication: Shadows Symposium, invited speaker

2016 /
Dartington Hall, Totnes: Art.Earth, invited speaker
Gonju, South Korea: International Nature Art Seminar, invited speaker  

2015 /
Back Lane West, Redruth: Cross Currents residency

2014 /
University of Exeter: Research and creative industries symposium, invited speaker
Back Lane West, Redruth: Natural Alchemy project residency

2013 /
University of Exeter: ESI Creative Exchange programme


Goonhilly Village Green 2019 :  Conduit - Camera Obscura 
Meijburg Art Commission 2018 : Nominated finalist
Geumgang Biennale 2016 : Forest Obscura
Late @Tate St Ives, Autumn 2014: Cameraless Photography


Nominated for Foam Paul Huf Award 2023
GRAIN Portfolio Award -  Format Photography Festival 2020
A-N (Artist Network) Bursary : 2019
Cultivator Creative Investment Grant: 2017/18
Creative Skills Development Grant: 2011

UNSEEN photo festival, Amsterdam
Cove Park Arts, Cove, Scotland
Cornubian Arts & Science Trust, Helston, Cornwall
Newlyn & Exchange Gallery, Newlyn, Cornwall
Kestle Barton, Helston, Cornwall
Tate St Ives, St Ives, Cornwall