Overloaded with the volume of information and influences available at our fingertips today, and the voyeurism encouraged by this overload, Barton focuses his recent work on the material world and his immediate surroundings. Turning inwards, Barton registers and catalogs objects and events in his environment—a form of visual photography based on personal observation and the spaces he inhabits.
Much of his current work is a response to Barton's day-to-day working environment, a studio out of which he produces hand-painted signage. He is conscious of and draws on the mishaps and detritus that accumulate in this space - spills, palette marks, discarded tape, cigarette butts. Both the vernacular and materials of the sign trade inform his work. Using materials such as glass, gold leaf, paint, foam, canvas, and printed material, he creates work through a process of bricolage. He is drawn to the unpredictable outcomes that theses materials, sites and histories suggest.
He describes his process in terms of "catch" and "release"—the transformation of work which takes place between the moment of inspiration and the final product. Often, the act of execution alone becomes the driving force behind creating new work. Eschewing any traditional working order, Barton creates drawings spontaneously and initiates and executes paintings swiftly, moving quickly from one series to the next. In this method of production, his working timeline is a blurred continuum. He asks the viewer to make an imaginative whole out of disparate parts drawn from observation, the working space and process.