After graduating in Art History from Bristol University Davina worked in London for both the Dickinson and Timothy Taylor Galleries.
She went on to set up her own business sourcing unusual furniture and fine art for clients. By then, with four small children in tow, she decided to move back to her home county of Norfolk. Here she discovered a wealth of talented artists and artisans, Norfolk by Design (now Contemporary & Country) was born: a series of pop up exhibitions in rustic, rural spaces, with an annual show in the stables of Houghton Hall.
In 2019 Davina went solo as Davina Barber, exhibiting artists beyond Norfolk, launching herself into the London art scene at Fair For Saatchi in 2019, and more recently two Works on Paper shows at London’s Frestonian Gallery in 2020, and at Iris Studios in 2021. When not exhibiting she works on small projects between artists and clients, and exhibits artwork at her home in Norfolk.
During the second lockdown in early 2021 Davina helped EACH (East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices) raise over £80,000 for their Art Therapy Programme. She acquired over 30 works of art from established East Anglian based artists, for an exclusive online auction with Cheffins (the Cambridge based auction house). Works donated included those from Antony Gormley, John Virtue, Anne Marie James and Nigel Hall.
Davina is an Ambassador to the Sainsbury Centre www.sainsburycentre.ac.uk which houses the collection of the late Robert and Lisa Sainsbury, an extraordinary collection of artwork majoring in Modern British art, and artefacts from ancient civilisations, as well as housing other numerous world class collections and a growing sculpture park.
Davina is passionate about art, visiting exhibitions whenever time allows. She favours the abstract or semi abstract, and anything where the composition and colours fuse aesthetically, even better with some added impasto! The Modern British artists are her inspiration, siting Scott, Hitchens, Auerbach, Hodgkin, Freud, Nicholson and Hepworth to name a few. Contemporary artists she loves include Hurvin Anderson and Flora Yukhnovich. She’s also very keen on the unfinished look of an artwork, so preparatory sketches of any era are always a favourite.