Tabitha Barton was born in the North of England in 1928 with a completely different name. She studied at Southport, Manchester and Liverpool Schools of Art. Married Peter Andersen in 1948; had two children, divorced, married John Griffiths in New Zealand in 1955. They had three more children and when the youngest started school Pat Griffiths, as she was known then, started painting in earnest. She held her first solo exhibition in 1968 consisting mainly of works of Grafton Gully, which was being excavated for the building of a motorway. The various layers of uncovered earth were a source of inspiration.

All her work up until 1992 was signed Pat Griffiths even though by then she was married to John Barton. In 1992 she adopted the brush name TABITHA. It is Aramaic and means gazelle, very fitting as all through our student days she was known as Springbok. She had several exhibitions in New Zealand both solo work and with different groups.

On moving to Melbourne in 1997 she became known only as Tabitha and started work straight away holding the first solo show in 1998. Five more followed, one at Kingston Art Centre, three at Rampart in Northcote and the latest at Libart in Northcote in 2007. Also works have been and still are shown, in group exhibitions.

Melbourne is a stimulating city and Tabitha continues to work in several media. She has traveled in Eastern Europe and made works of Latvian landscapes, ‘Tas in Ljoti Uezens’ (it’s very flat). Cats figured in her work for quite some time but seem to have departed now. Apart from last year illustrating a children’s book called “The First Kissamouse”, which featured many cats.

Her belief that paintings should be enjoyed by everyone accounts for the modest prices.

A recent trip to the north of the South Island reminded her that she is fascinated and sometimes overwhelmed by N.Z. skies. More works in the offing.

April 2009