CONTACT: barbarashangrila@gmail.com 


I am a painter, illustrator, author, and so much more. I am a single mother of two young children. I live and work in Montreal, Quebec.  I am originally from Bonn, Germany, but lived in London, UK, in the 1990s and then ended up settling in Montreal, Canada, in 2002. 

Looking back at my evolution as an artist, there is a definite shift in focus as a result of becoming a parent. Motherhood has made me question the core values I want to pass on to my children and compelled me to become more selective in my subject matter and at the same time forced me to mature on a personal, as well as creative, level. 


I have a love of life and people that is reflected in my work. A subtle sense of humor and effortlessness, as well as a quest for authenticity, permeate all that I do. I live in the big city, in a diverse neighborhood. That is reflected in my work, which reaches across age, culture and gender, to arrive at universally understandable concepts that never seek to be didactic, yet invite viewers and readers to ask questions and discover things about themselves, others and the world they live in.

My style is unique, yet rooted in pop culture and folk art. VICE Canada compared it to African Barbershop signs in its honesty and simplicity. A thirst for knowledge permeates my approach, with the simple desire to deliver a glimpse of those things and people that move me to create in the first place.  

I am attracted to showing people with their guards down, arguably drawing attention to their true essence. I am forevermore concerned with how meaning is generated through portraiture.

My work can be described as honest, authentic, brimming with child-like simplicity and wonder, non-didactic, playful and unique.

I don't follow conventions, and as such, my style is impossible to classify. That being said, I am a great fan of such artists as Faith Ringgold, Maira Kalman, Laura Levine, Howard Finster and Grandma Moses. 



I am first and foremost a self-taught artist. I have attended numerous training programs in the fine arts, yet decided to abandon studies at the university level shortly before graduation, in order to work as an independent artist.

2007 – 2009 Concordia University, Montreal, Canada (BFA) Studio Arts

2004 – 2005 Concordia University, Montreal, Canada (BFA) Photography

2003 – 2004 Saidye Bronfman Centre School of Fine Arts, Montreal, Canada – Photography

2003 – 2004 Dawson College, Montreal, Canada – Photography 

1999 - 2002 South Bank University, London, UK BA (HONS) English Studies & History 

1993 – 1996 Gesamtschule Bonn-Beuel, Germany (DEC) Fine Arts, English and History


Le Baobab Cafe - Mon Univers Amical, Selected Works, Verdun, Canada 

February 2014 - Al Kray Artshow, Casa Del Popolo, Montreal, Canada


October 2017 – Maskenspiel, Usine 106U, Montreal, Canada curated by Eric Braun

July 2014 - Art Alternatif/Outsider Art, Studio Georgeville, Georgeville, Canada, curated by Tricia McDaid

June 2014 - Show and Tell, La Ruche D'Art, Montreal, Canada

May 2014 - Felino Presents, Galerie Espace, Montreal, Canada, curated by Coco Khan

April 2014 - Lapinophobie, Usine 106U, Montreal, Canada, curated by Eric Braun
November 2011 - Puppet Show with Al Kray dolls and Spongebob Squarepants' Tom Kenny, Norton Records' 25th Anniversary Weekender, NYC, NY

April 2011 -  Pouteenage Wasteland, Friendship Cove, Montreal, Canada

2009 - Illuminations, Art Matters, Belgo Building, Montreal, Canada

2007 - All My Friends Are Dead, Usine 106U, Montreal, Canad , curated by Eric Braun,

2005 – Ruelle en Arts, organized by YMCA Plateau Montreal


January 24, 2014 -  David Bush, The Eastern Door, Vol. 23, p.21

December 20, 2014 - David Bush, The Eastern Door, Vol. 22, p. 21

October 2012 - XX Files, Radio Interview, CKUT.ca