Morning has broken….

Morning has broken

like the first morning…

Blackbird has spoken

like the first bird….

What an apt song that is for reflecting the joy and hope of life; flowers, friends, birds and gardens…..,

Spring and Summer in Zimbabwe are upon us…

Yellow clivias in our garden herald Spring

I am feeling so very deeply the loss, the absence in our garden, of our father, our gramps our great grandfather, Arthur Barrie ….
He lived with us and was truly our ‘constant gardener’. From babyhood he thought us to nurture, to praise and to notice all living growing things, all seasons ….

Dad in the garden

What a roller coaster few months since my dear dads 90th birthday party at Mulberry Restaurant. We have suddenly lost him- he passed away peacefully in our arms at home in his bed.
I, my daughter Kelli, and my Sisi Clare (sister-in-law) were with Dad as he passed away, and we remembered with him, reminisced with him and reminded him with joy of what a legacy he has left all of us family and all of his friends…

Dads favourite – pure white petunias that he planted every year without fail

…. A legacy of love for his neighbours and family, a joy in walking, in art, a passion for owls and all birds, for bush, sunrises, growing gardens, moonphases and flowers!

Dad and the wooden owl sculpture in our garden – the sculptors of this magnificent bird are the talented Zimbabwean Zata brothers

Dad’s hand painted cards and calendars featuring trees and spotted eagle owls were treasured by all of us…

One of Dad’s cards

Dad will be in every flower I paint, every seed I nurture and every rock I touch ….

Linneria from Steph Watson flowering and calling the bees!

My release from sadness is in waking up to birdsong, painting flowers, painting gramp’s flowers, painting friends flowers…

Bright flowers make bright days …

Painting the garden and flowers around me is my balm, my joy in the midst of grief…


One of my “Palm Bouquet” paintings … palm frond, ranunculus and sweet peas, acrylic on canvas board, each one is 51 x 41 cm

Gardening, watering and wandering Dad’s wonderful spaces gives me purpose…

Zinnias from Ashleigh

The joy of gardens is in sharing special plants with friends and family- growing gifts…

Daisies from Peggy Williams, (in honour of my mums name Daisy and her favourite colour -Yellow!)

Painting the multitudinous flowers is my therapy-

Part of my larger painting “Alyssum, Petunias and All”!

The full painting nestles beneath the white petunias that it features…

Lin Barrie, “Alyssum, Petunias and All!”
Acrylic on canvas, framed
61 x 91 cm actual painting (larger with frame)

We plan a memorial morning tea for Dad on Thursday 7th October -10am till 12 noon at Mulberry Restaurant, BB Club, Borrowdale Brooke Estate.

The memorial for Gramps will be a bit different. I would like to ask all to bring their favourite herb, succulent or other plant in a sleeve or a pot and place it on a communal table, from which everyone can then choose someone else’s plant , taking away their new chosen plant to nurture in their own gardens in happy memory of dad.

Good friends and family, wide open spaces, bird song, and flowers to honour the legacy of love for nature, birds and gardens that dad left us all with.

Dad was not a purist gardener- he made good compost, sowed his seeds carefully and with love, and gave a multitude of different beloved plants the chance to spring fresh from the earth and compete gaily with each other for his admiration and attention!

Plantings of annuals in pots enabled dad to selectively water according to need with his watering can, saving wastage- always waterwise was Dad!

When I came to Harare to be with my dad as he became ill, those few frighteningly short, yet astonishingly long weeks ago, little knowing the desperate turn things would take, I was able to drop some leadwood installation poles plus paintings at Gallery Delta hours before the sudden loss of my Dad in my arms, and hours before the creeping Covid caught me as well, put me into quarantine and laid me flat in my daughter Kelli’s arms….

Leadwood fence posts for installation at Gallery Delta, as per a previous discussion with treasured artist and mentor, Helen Lieros, before she passed away with Covid

Amidst all the grief of losing our dad, there followed a few “on-the-edge” days when physically I felt very down, and my lovely doctor Cathy Chidoori had an ambulance on speed dial with her finger poised, (!)…but that worry soon passed and my breathing never quite got to a dangerous point. Kelli’s and Cathy’s care of me prevailed and Kelli and I have both actually valued the mandatory isolation in our own quiet garden space together… time to grieve, to cry, laugh, remember….

Kelli and her special ‘Gramps’ at his 90th Birthday

I am indeed feeling empowered, liberated, to create from the intense memories and joy all around me in this harare garden.

Dad loved this head-height scarlet red begonia variety… called it “Painted Toenails” and said that the toenails belonged to naughty angels who had been barred from heaven because of their scarlet nails!

Painted Toenails

I am gardening daily as well as painting, doing seed collections, propagating cuttings, sowing Dads packets of collected seeds as the season changes and the strong August winds blow leaves and flower petals around my paintings and toss my paint and flowers artistically onto the concrete Verandah floor!

Wind art

Our ‘Constant Gardener’ helpmate, Biggie, who was Dad’s true friend, a smiling and able companion in helping dad to create the garden that we love, tells me that the delightful Shona name for these particular fierce August winds is “Nyamavuvu”…

‘Nyamavuvu’ Art!

Biggie has become the ‘constant gardener’ and sieves fine homemade compost gently over the three types of zinnia seeds we have just scattered…

Biggie the gentle and constant gardener

Dad’s garden tip: Clever use of a water bath in a wheelbarrow soaks the seeds from the base up so that water droplets don’t displace the delicate layers of seeds before they are able to germinate …

Soaking gently to encourage new life….

And a few weeks later- three types of seeds successfully begin new life… dad would approve!

New life begins..

One of our installations-a garden totem erected by Dad, is a leadwood fencepost from the cattle era of the Save Valley Conservancy, my other treasured home. This post presides over our fire pit, with offerings nestled in every notch….
Inspiration for my own leadwood post installation to go up at the “Freedom” exhibition at Gallery Delta.

The leadwood post which guards our fire pit

Dad had such an eye for the abstract, the art, of everyday objects … bones on a string installation amidst artfully placed plants… and an old farm lamp burning with childhood memories…

The old farm lamp burns in our garden

A full moon rising over our palm trees. The full moon always draws me, a full moon = a full cycle of life

Full moon in our garden

Morning has broken…

Flowers and birdsong fill my mind and my garden as I wake each morning and stare out at the promise of a new day- I thrill to the trill of the robin chat after a night of owl calls-

The start of my day- my view into the garden from my bedroom doors

Each day feels like a new start… is a new start

Snapdragons bounce out- gifts from dad’s garden that grow and grow….,

treasures from dads plantings and gifts from friends…

Steph Watson and Di Kerr of Huku-Mombe, gift me flowers…

The bunches of sweet peas and ranunculus I am gifted from Steph, grown by Di of Huku Mombe – look at those irises!
Hope in a flower….

Huku Mombe irises

and my painting of sweet peas and those affirmative irises grows…using charcoal and acrylic …

Moonlight in my garden , diptych, mixed media, each is 61 x 46 cm

I have beaten Covid, am growing in strength…much as the stunning irises gifted to dad on his birthday are growing in strength in our garden…

Our Irises bring joy, a growing gift to please and uplift …

Lying in bed I listen to Dads spotted eagle owls calling most nights, plus the barn owls, wood owls and greater galagos (bush babies) which thrive in the trees and dense gardens of the Brooke. As I imagine the flight of the owls out there in the night, I am excited for the “Freedom” exhibition that Helen Lieros and Derek Huggins were planning before we lost them also to COVID – I am so honoured to be part of that, as the delta trustees are forging ahead, honouring her wishes and setting up the show as her own last wish, her “last show”….
Helen had asked me to participate the last time I saw her in Borrowdale…. And then everything in our worlds turned upside down and we lost her, lost Derek …. So next weekend we’ll have an invited artists meeting at the gallery delta and plan from there. Something strong and good for me to focus on.

Dad, you have given me wings, strong foundations to build on as I sketch and paint the Nike, the Winged Greek Goddess of Victory, such a symbol of hope, freedom, flight….

Lin Barrie, “Nike Freedom I”, mixed media on canvas, 141 x 86 cm

the energy and love that I feel from our flowers, our installations, the birds and the butterflies in our garden empower me …

The Pearl Spotted Charaxes-Dad always loved this butterfly, fluttering round our garden with the warmer spring weather

The windy season brings sweet colours and flower petals thrown together by the August gusts …

The yellow of Spring!

Sweet peas….

The towering trellis of sweet peas that my father always grew in our sunny garden when I was a child, a wall of colour and bees to look up at, a screen of delicious perfume to wrap yourself in, lies gentle and sweet-scented on my mind…

Moonlight in the garden of good and evil… life and death, promise of rebirth…so many memories past and promises future…

Summer in Zimbabwe will bring vibrant Msasa colour to our gardens and Miombo woodlands- memories of seasons past, favourite Msasa trees and birding walks with dear dad through one of our favourite bird ‘gardens’ – the Mukuvisi Woodlands …

Lin Barrie, “Msasa Season”, diptych, 
acrylic on canvas,
76 x 51 cm each panel

No matter the season, we LOVE our garden, the memories past and the promise to come…

Our garden wall
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Freedom and Fences; Leadwoods and Land

My art focus for the last few months has been intense on Flight, Fight, Freedom/Fences and Burnt Offerings.

 “Burnt Offerings” being a theme which I have been exploring for many months, in collaboration with dear Johnson Zuze, as he and I discussed the idea of a co-exhibition called “Burnt Offerings” after realizing the fact of our mutually experienced house fires, losses and re-inventions….

A Phoenix installation from many years ago which i rescued from my house fire, waiting to be re-invented…

Lin Barrie, phoenix burnt….

This below  is one of the burnt wooden bird sculptures which  I rescued from my own house fire, which I gave to Johnson to re-invent…a phoenix rising from the ashes, a ‘burnt offering”… we liked the idea of “re-inventing”, “resurrecting” it…….. much like a phoenix.

Lin, Burnt Bird:

Burnt Bird, a phoenix rising from the ashes….

“Freedom” is so inspiring, a natural progression of thought reflecting my feelings of re-invention, taking flight, to combat boundaries real and perceived….

….to combat the trauma of life, fire, physical and emotional battles and constraints….


is an elusive state


not only by physical boundaries

but by your mind

Lin Barrie

Lin Barrie, Freedom is an elusive state….

Freedom and Fences- a theme personified by the iconic deadwoods that were historically the boundaries for cattle paddocks and dips, during the rise of subsidized cattle ranching which took over vast areas of traditional wildlife areas, and before the replacement of these very posts to again make way for wildlife….. boundaries and land use, flux and flow, freedom and restraint……..

Leadwood post- indestructible in nature, impervious to weather and termites, but totally vulnerable to fire…..

Fire is the only threat to these ‘indestructible’ lead woods, a devastating force,

Fire, harnessed by man but often overcoming man as well… as in my story of how a Giant Snail Shell was put to use to obtain fire, by the Mahenye People …

I like to harness the force of fire in making my own charcoal for sketches….

Painting Shells, Fire, Painting Water, are elemental satisfactions for me…

Lin Barrie, Giant land snails , skeletons after a fire, acrylic on canvas, diptych, 2 x 2 feet and 2 x 3 feet

Lin Barrie, “Water…”, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm 

Lin Barrie, Water, acrylic on canvas, 120 x 180 cm

Lin Barrie, “Fire…”, acrylic on canvas , 120 x 180 cm, 

Lin Barrie, Fire, acrylic on canvas , 120 x 180 cm

the elemental power of fire will always draw me……….

Lin Barrie, What I Saw in the Fire, quartet,acrylic on stretched canvas-each 30 x 30 cm

and I ruminate on the force of fire, as a cleansing and as a destructor…

I have draped a large canvas, reminiscent of what I see when I stare into fire, into flames, whereupon I take flight or contemplate fight……..

Lin Barrie, Fire; Fight or Flight?, acrylic on draped  canvas Height 184 cm Width 275 cm Width to point 435 cm

Lin Barrie, Fire; Fight or Flight?, acrylic on draped  canvas

 The “Winged Victory”, that stunning  hellenic statue of Nike, Goddess of Victory, is the epitome of freedom, of rising to victory….

Winged Victory, Nike I, and II, are acrylic and charcoal on stretched canvas, each 42 x 30 cm (A3)

Lin Barrie Winged Victory, Nike I, and II, are acrylic and charcoal on stretched canvas, each 42 x 30 cm (A3)

Taking flight, my abstraction of that universal Swoosh symbol, the Nike flash, Winged Victory, Nike, a diptych, is acrylic on stretched canvas, each 42 x 30 cm …… is it a bird in flight or a swoosh?! …..either way it is a symbol of FREEDOM!

Lin Barrie, Winged Victory, Nike Swoosh, a diptych, is acrylic on stretched canvas, each 42 x 30 cm ……

Born of Fire, my painting “Winged Victory” is growing…acrylic/charcoal on stretched canvas 4 x 3 feet….

Lin Barrie, unfinished work “Winged Victory” ..acrylic/charcoal on stretched canvas 4 x 3 feet

Winged Victory; Beyond Beyonce, will be an acrylic/charcoal/collage installation on stretched/draped  canvas inspired by the marks of sparks and fire on canvas, creativity and creation… Size 4 x 3 feet plus ‘wings’

Lin Barrie, Winged Victory; Beyond Beyonce…growing on my wall…

watch this space…..

Lin Barrie collage installation -detail from the larger work, Winged Victory; Beyond Beyonce

The Winged Victory; Flight, Fight and Freedom

Posted in abstract art, Africa, agriculture, art exhibition, art gallery, cattle, flight, greek statue, hellenic art, Lin Barrie Art, Lin Barrie publication, Nguni cattle, Nike, paintings, sculpture, Uncategorized, wildlife, wood sculpture | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Winged Victory; Beyond Beyoncé

My work on Nike, the winged Greek goddess of Victory-

Constantly sketching and musing over the power of this image…. here I am working on canvas with my own handmade mopani hardwood charcoal ….

Nike, who is celebrated in the Winged Victory statue intrigues me, and ancient Hellenic, Egyptian and Renaissance artwork in the Louvre is here featured in a video, “Apeshit”, by  Beyoncé and Jay-Z…

Winged Victory and The Carter’s…..

The Winged Victory of Samothrace is a Greek statue of the goddess Nike, who symbolized victory in battle for the sea-faring Greeks, dating from the 2nd century, BC.

In the video, Beyoncé appears and dances in front of the statue in garb that mimics the structure of the angelic wings and coverings of the statue;

Wings, Flight, Fire, Freedom ……

These themes that are so empowering for me are growing in my paintings and draped canvas works ….such as this nearly completed piece ….


Lin Barrie, “Winged Victory, Beyond Beyoncé” mixed media and draped canvas collage, approx 6 x 6 feet:


Lin Barrie, “Winged Victory, Beyond Beyoncé” mixed media and draped canvas collage, approx 6 x 6 feet:

Here is a detail from her wings- the sparks and trails of fire in my work are reflective of the trials of life we all face…. trial by fire…

Detail, fire in her wings ….
Lin Barrie, “Winged Victory, Beyond Beyoncé” mixed media and draped canvas collage, approx 6 x 6 feet

Lin Barrie, “Nike Freedom I”.. the Winged Goddess of Victory, mixed media on loose canvas, 141 x86 cm

Lin Barrie, “Nike Freedom I”.. the Winged Goddess of Victory, mixed media on loose canvas, 141 x86 cm

Nike, the hellenic winged goddess of victory, inspires me – remembering Helen Lieros of Gallery Delta, celebrating the power of art and attitude in rising above the travails of this world to meet the challenges of life, and death….

Lin Barrie, “Nike Freedom II”.. the Winged Goddess of Victory, mixed media on loose canvas, 141 x86 cm

Lin Barrie, “Nike Freedom II”.. the Winged Goddess of Victory, mixed media on loose canvas, 140 x 90 cm

Nike sportswear aptly took their name from this energetic goddess, and their swoosh symbol is, to me, a potent symbol of flight, positive movement 

Nike swoosh symbol

and this is the ‘secret’ swoosh I have added to my two paintings -for those who peer closely, those who are observant! …

Nike swoosh signature, Lin Barrie

Thinking Nike swoosh and freedom, flight, here is my small diptych called “Nike, Winged Victory”, mixed media on stretched canvas, each panel being 42 x30 cm… seen here against the magnificent old wooden floors of the Gallery Delta in Harare, prior to the opening of the “Freedom” exhibition that Helen was determined to mount ..

Lin Barrie, “Nike, Winged Victory”, mixed media on stretched canvas, each panel being 42 x30 cm :
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Gallery Delta, Art for Arts Sake….

An impressive and evocative art video from a few years back, by Nigel Hulett of Granadilla Films…memories and inspirations.

Gallery Delta, Art for Arts Sake….

..listen to music from such as Hope Masike on Mbira, watch art memories from the past, feel the hopes for the future…..

Zimbabwe has lost Helen Lieros…

Artist of Africa, Artist of Zimbabwe…

Helens work has inspired, and will continue to inspire, many generations of artists..
Derek and Helen produced a book on the iconic murals that Helen created in the Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Maputo, Mozambique…

Zimbabwe has also lost Derek Huggins….

Derek Huggins, life force and creator of Gallery Delta, supporter of the Arts and Humanities

national gallery of Zimbabwe posting

Zimbabwe, and the whole art world, has lost two iconic people who will be deeply missed but always so fondly remembered.

At this tragically sad time I hold the memories of Derek’s deep humanity and Helen’s huge creative force close to my heart, from my house in the bush in Zimbabwe.

Surrounded by the indigenous aloes and dramatic skies of our beloved Zimbabwe, as I sit in my wilderness home, I will ruminate and celebrate the passionate, caring and deeply colourful life that was theirs …

All my thoughts are with the Lieros and Huggins families, their dear friends and closest associates, and all of my fellow artists who mourn with me.

Helen and Derek, founders of Gallery Delta and icons of the arts in Zimbabwe and far far beyond, you were, and are, universally loved.

Gallery Delta and a Johnson Zuze sculpture

May your legacies live on in all our artistic and humanitarian endeavours.

Fly high dear friends.

Derek and Helen , posting by Marjorie Wallace

I dedicate this painting to your memory, Helen.

“Emergence” is a painting that I worked on a few months ago- my personal reflection on the energizing chats and art meetings we have had in the last year, dear Helen…..

You helped me to feel that I was emerging, coming out and re-inventing my self, finding myself, with a renewed and sound basis for my art practice.

You inspired me.

You still inspire me.

You have helped me to a new-found feeling of ‘flying high’ …

Thank You dear Helen.

Lin Barrie
Mixed media on canvas
120 x 180 cm
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The Winged Victory; Flight, Fight and Freedom

I have always collected fallen feathers, and have been drawing feathers, birds, winged forms and flight obsessively …..

I have just realized how influenced I have been in my subconscious by Nike, the winged Greek Goddess of Victory. She has been gentle in the back of my mind all these years and has resurfaced with a vengeance!

Almost like emerging from a cocoon, my mind embraces the thought of wings, feathers, flight….

A wooden vulture sculpture by the talented Zimbabwean Zata Brothers presides over my workspace, informing my subconscious, watchfully influencing my mark making….

The concept grows, as I create mono prints which seem to take on their own persona, their own life, unfolding their wings, re-inventing themselves and arising from the ashes, emerging from the trials of life….

Lin Barrie monotype with commercial and hand made charcoal from the ashes of my hard wood fire

Immortalised in the marble sculpture found on the island of Samothrace, my intense focus now rests on a marble statue portraying Nike the goddess, called “Winged Victory” and portraying a woman in delicate yet powerful flowing robes, wings outstretched as if just landing, or just taking off…

Since learning about her in Art History classes at Art College, years and years ago, I have been conscious of her powerful presence, although I have never seen her in real life, as she stands in the Louvre…one day….

She epitomizes the concept of Flight and Freedom in my mind, (and Fight as well… she seems not shy of gaining Victory, a powerful force!)

To persevere, re-invent oneself, take flight against all odds, is my mantra.

I am working towards my personal theme, “Burnt Offerings”, in collaboration with friend and talented fellow Zimbabwean artist, Johnson Zuze. Wire artist and creator of fantastic beasts from found objects, Johnson’s re-cycled art is at once intricate and bold, at once aesthetically pleasing and socially cutting……

He himself has always been fascinated by the theme of the phoenix myth, wings, flight, birds and I am the proud owner of this delightful bird re-created by him for me after the original got damaged in my house fire… more on that here

Johnson Zuze “bird’

Some of my saved ‘Burnt Offerings” are – you guessed it, (returning always to my theme of flight), wooden bird sculptures!

Charred, scarred and damaged but with strong spirit still, waiting to be re-invented…. here is one of my treasured burnt birds that I have passed on to Johnson, for him to raise from the ashes… a phoenix or a Nike winged goddess in the making….

Plus am planning on submitting work for an exhibition called “Freedom” at The Gallery Delta later this year and Nike is so inspiring for me…

Many many sketches I have done ….

and am working into larger paintings…

Over the last few months my themes of Flight, Rebirth, are growing on canvas, such as this one called “Emergence”, which was painted before I began sketching Winged Victory, and eerily echoes her mood…

Lin Barrie, “Emergence”, mixed media on canvas, 150 x 180 cm

And a theme of natural world shapes and fire is translating into Winged Victory on this large canvas…

watch this space!

She is growing into my

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Gonarezhou Gatherings; Sensational Sunsets

June 2021


How special to have you all, dear family and friends,  together in person and together “online”!!…

in this wonderful place called Gonarezhou –  Sacred Place of Elephants…

Lin Barrie “Elephant”

for a few days of surprise celebrations for Clives 70th birthday…

Picnic site at Chilojo Cliffs

The Chilojo Cliffs, viewed from the picnic site, are a fitting backdrop to the most special occasions…

Lin Barrie , chilojo reflections

and always inspiration for my the perfect place to gather with friends…..

Lin Barrie, Chilojo Cliffs, acrylic on canvas, 2 x 3feet

A few days of glorious vistas and surprises roll out….

Clive cutting the first of his cakes at Chilojo Picnic Site-a carrot cake created by dear friend Bronwen…

Carrot cake by Bronwen

Our daughter Kelli presides over the goodies and gift table at Chilojo!

Painted Wolf Wines, Jeremy Emma  and Amanda, sadly could not be with us at the last , but  gifted us some bottles of their delicious wine for the day.

Painted wolf Wines

So many friends from all over the world and within Zimbabwe who wanted to come, had indeed already booked to come, have failed to do so for various covid and logistical reasons.

Best wishes and so much love come to you, Clive, from  Texas to Cape Town, London to Paarl, Kenya to Hoedspruit !

Childhood friend Alan Sparrow spends quiet time with Clive back at our bush house in Save valley Conservanvy, after the camping trip

This sculpture, given to Clive by Stu and Sue Danks of Stone Dynamics Gallery, sums up the deep sense of family and friendship we all enjoy, titled “Support System”

‘Support System” by Dominic Benhura

On the day, many many friends here in Zimbabwe , too numerous to mention in this short speech, who can not be with us, have sent Clive messages, to add to his memory book.

The invite

My gift to Clive is a magnificent Rhino sculpture by dear friend Wayne Stutchbury…

My list of thanks to everyone who has made this celebration possible is lengthy- so I will  have to be brief and mention just a few of the many who have helped plan this surprise:

Gonarezhou National Park,  (GCT), Hugo and Elsabe Van Der Westhuizen and Mr Mpofu and staff for your vision, conservation ethics and enthusiasm, (plus efficient bookings and logistics- for bundles of firewood, tables and pots  donated for the party).

Hugo’s words to guests on the day were a revelation to many- the ongoing efforts and planning that have resulted in the iconic reintroduction of black rhinos to gonarezhou were enthralling for us all to understand.

Gorgeous Massasanya Dam was one of the venues for guests to camp at, in preparation for Clive’s surprises…

Massasanya Dam

Thanks to Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge who hosted happy guests at gorgeous Chilo lodge on the Save River … in preparation for the event.

Sabi star at Chilo Gorge Lodge

Chilo brought our dear friends and precious staff through the stunning wilderness of Gonarezhou National Park, on Clive’s special day..

The Chilo team and John Feleni of the Jamanda Conservation Area had special sightings, viewing lions and African wild dogs en route, to join us at Chipinda with truckfuls of food, cake and love!

Detail from a large painting

wild dogs were seen on the banks of the Runde and Save River- a delight…

Detail from a large painting

Dear Bonani and head chef Peter Chauke pulled the chilo team together through thick and thin to make this day a success.

Chef Susie’s cake:

Fun to cut and a delight to eat!

Thanks to Malilangwe and the people of Malilangwe who have always been trusted friends and dear neighbours  to Clive, who roamed those lone star/ Malilangwe hills throughout his childhood.

Mark Saunders honours Clive with his words ..

And a great framed photo gifted from Mark Saunders- memories of camping trips with Clive at mahove camp, hosted by Chilo Gorge

Thanks to Save Valley Conservancy, beloved home to our family, thanks to them for  their consistent support and friendship through the many years they have been established.

Thanks to Glenn and Judy and our grandchildren Jade And Rayne and to our  daughter Kelli  for their  unending support and love for Clive 

Thanks to All other friends and family too numerous to list but all who have contributed to the success of today…you are all deeply loved and appreciated

Rowan Martin came from afar on dodgy tyres, to play the bagpipes for Clive…

As did Sean Davy, with his beloved Mum Mo, and his sweet “clan” of girls, to celebrate and play “Happy Birthday” on his bagpipes…

Mo and Sean tuning up on the banks of the Runde River

He played below those atmospheric Chiwonga Hills, a wonderful moody setting…

The Chiwongas

Friends young and old made memories for a lifetime…

Much food was eaten around many campfires, lots of fun…and leftover sadza with relish tasted even better straight out the pots, reheated the night after the party….

This area of the South East lowveld of Zimbabwe has forever been a haven for Clive, way before it was designated as a National Park. 

Clive’s earliest childhood memories are of family fishing expeditions down this very Runde River behind us.

Tented camp on the Runde River

Clive says of his childhood;:

“Our anticipation was high at the outset of these family trips, and when we would finally reach the range of these hills known as the Chiwongas, we children, bouncing about in the back of our old truck, would be in an agony of delight, knowing that we had nearly arrived at our fishing grounds!

70 years later here is Clive setting up a braai at the tented camp, below these same hills….

Clive and a chipinda braai construction!

Early one morning here at the tented camp, Clive and I rose to the orchestra of  Giant Eagle owls and pearl spotted owelets  going to bed  and ground hornbills, Spurfowl and guinea fowl waking up.

Loud, snorting bloats of hippos serenaded us as drank our Zimbabwean coffee and watched the light dawn behind these same Chiwongas.

Clive later said to me that it reminded him of the verse in David:
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills from whence comes my power”

Clive’s whole life, his whole power, has been dedicated to wilderness and community conservation here in the South East Lowveld.
Clive has seen communities translocated to make way for wildlife, he has seen wildlife translocated to make way for cattle, and again he has seen cattle translocated to make way for wildlife!
Clive has seen rhino go extinct twice in his lifetime here  in the Gonarezhou.
It seems fitting  that we celebrate his birthday right here at Chipinda Pools In the heart of the new rhino protection zone  in Gonarezhou, as rhino reintroductions from Malilangwe, Bubye and Save Valley Conservancy are taking place

Thank you all for helping to make this surprise for Clive such a success!

Clive Stockil, my life partner ………..

In memory of the rhinos that were..

In care of the rhinos that are…………

In hope for the rhinos to come ……..

All my love and admiration, Lin……..

Lin Barrie ‘Black Rhino’, acrylic on canvas, 3×2 feet
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Freedom; Thoughts of Flight…

is an elusive state
not only by physical boundaries
but by your mind

Lin Barrie

Quote from Derek Huggins at Gallery Delta:

“The word and subject ‘Freedom’ may be difficult to define and depict. The word freedom is used in many ways, for example:

  • Freedom of Expression
  • Freedom of Speech
  • Freedom of Religion/Worship
  • Freedom of Movement
  • Freedom of Assembly
  • Freedom from Hunger
  • Freedom from Poverty
  • Freedom from Want
  • Freedom from Suppression and Repression and so on.

Further, Zimbabwe was subjected to colonisation for nearly one hundred years from which it was freed by a liberation war to become Zimbabwe.

However, true freedom would necessitate non-attachment to anything worldly, good and bad.”

My own aspirations and hope for freedom centre around potential freedom that I am able to nurture in my own head, independent of worldly constraints, place and time.

In this respect, the concept of flight as a symbol for freedom resonates strongly with me…

Lin Barrie, mixed media collage with feathers and snare wire ……

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Carving Lines

Greg Shaw, #zimbabwean #artist …whose words and ‘light scratchings’ overlay deep rents and powerful concepts…

Greg Shaw

Carving Lines, 2021. Mixed Media, 145 x 75 x 30cm. Photograph, David Brazier

This ongoing interrogation into concepts of borders has not, so far, been straightforward. This is not surprising, like any contemplation of ideas of consequence (I don’t mean mine…), there are never simple answers, and the more you look, the more daunting it becomes. Even at a very shallow face value, answering questions such as “should national borders exist?” (yes, sometimes, no…), demands that you take some position. And it’s unlikely, that with any iota of thought, that one might land on Lennon’s Imagine stance with anything other than an immature drifting through lala-land. Maybe I’m just not “dreamer” enough. It seems reasonable, that if you have a nation-state, and that you have a functional relationship with the mechanisms and structures that maintain its workings and ideologies, then you also have something to defend, and some form of…

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Beautiful Struggle and Burnt Offerings


Johnson Zuze, artist statement:

I create art using items of urban junk that collect from street corners and land fills. I give them new existence and present them with a lively presence beyond their primary use into poetic dimension.I learn how to handle tools from my father who used to make kitchen and hardware products using wire like iron stands, cuphookes etc. My early works were mainly made of wire. My interest in up-cycling was sparked after the burning down of our house in 2009.I scrouged through the remains and expressed my self in time of desolation. I came up with a piece called “The Beautiful Struggle” which earned me a runner up accolade on the occasion” Unity” an exhibition and competition sponsored by European union hosted at gallery Delta in Harare Zimbabwe in 2009′.

Johnson Zuze, friend, artist, calligrapher with wire and found objects- a true visionary and master of art……

Read his poem below about this original piece “The Beautiful Struggle”, created with salvaged pieces after Johnson’s apocalyptic house fire in 2009.

The Beautiful Struggle

Life’s a beautiful struggle. 
People search through rubble for a suitable hustle, some people usin’ the noodle, some people usin’ the muscle
Some people put it all together, make it fit like a puzzle.

Well, now to my story…

in the strangest synergy, at the Unity Exhibition at The National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2009 where I was also exhibiting, I bought Johnson’s “Beautiful Struggle” – not realizing its history and provenance, and not knowing Johnson. To put it simply, the sculpture just spoke to me and entranced my daughter, Kelli Barker, and we had to have it. We just had an escaped land clearing/bushfire rage through and mostly destroy our Senuko Lodge in the Savé Valley Conservancy (also in 2009!).

The piece hung in pride of place in my Harare house/art studio, until it was destroyed a few years later in our own house fire, that started upstairs electrically after some crazy huge power surges from the local electricity supply authority. The flames destroyed Kelli’s bedroom and all her possessions, and raged throughout the house, until brought under control by wonderful friends and neighbours at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Estate. “Beautiful Struggle” was burnt, as was most of my own art and furniture, but wonderful rescuers on the day retrieved various precious burnt pieces and I stored these items, since they meant too much to me to just throw onto a landfill.

the burnt remains of “The Beautiful Struggle”

Johnson has now revived and reincarnated this piece for us, revealed below!

The Beautiful Struggle re-incarnated…

The Beautiful Struggle, re-incarnated…

Most of my own art and furniture was destroyed in that fire, but wonderful rescuers on the day retrieved various precious burnt pieces and I stored these items, since they meant too much to me to just throw onto a landfill. Here is a vulture, ground hornbill or what you will, one of my favourite wooden sculptures attacked by that fateful fire….ready to take flight again, to rise like a phoenix!

ready to take flight again, to rise like a phoenix!

My journey has echoed much of the perseverance, the need to re-define boundaries, to take flight, to re-invent and re-juvenate my art, my thoughts, after the various fires in my life, physical and metaphorical!

Developing my thoughts on flight, I take as a starting point another of Johnson’s sculptures which was burnt in my house fire, a flying bird, whose glass bottle body cracked in the extreme heat, but whose folded wire wings defiantly survived….

Johnson, dear friend, has restored this bird to flight for me… given it wings, colour…

“flight” by Johnson Zuze…

Wings, taking flight…. my sketch book grows, as do larger sketches on art paper using my own handmade charcoal, burnt in my own hardwood fires….

sketches, flight, handmade charcoal….

I start to take flight in my mind….

in my sketches

and on my paper…

Lin Barrie, monotype, “the thought of flight…..” charcoal and acrylic on paper

Flight, Fight, Fire and cultural tales of fire and survival, fascinate me.

Such as the Xangana story of why they revere the giant land Snail,

sketching Giant African Land snail shells, found around my bush house in the Save Valley Conservancy…

Giant African Land snails are my inspiration, my obsession, such symbols of resilience, beauty….they are sculptural icons, satisfyingly complete shapes adhering to ancient art principles

Lin Barrie, “Giant African Snail Shells After a Fire”, acrylic on canvas, diptych, 2 x 2 feet and 2 x 3 feet

Fire is a great destroyer but also re-juvenates, cleanses…

and I keep a sketch book of ideas and dreams….

my burnt wooden bird sculpture needs to re-incarnate, to live again…

much like a phoenix rising from the ashes of life, of my house fire….

My phoenix installation that I created after our bush fire, in memory of those burnt pieces that we salvaged from the lodge, and singed again in yet another fire, waiting to renew itself…!!

My phoenix installation that I created after our bush fire, in memory of those burnt pieces that we salvaged from the lodge, having fought its way through yet another fire and now destined to renew itself…

Fire Fire….

Vulnerable to fire only, the iconic leadwood fence posts that used to mark the man-made boundaries of the over-grazed cattle paddocks in the colonial history of the Save Valley Conservancy, before they were uplifted to make way for a healthier ecosystem dedicated to sustainable wildlife landuse in this semi arid zone, are impervious to age and water and white ants, but are instantly destroyed by wild bush fires. So many of these great posts that supported the thatch roof structure of the Senuko Lodge, were lost during the fire we had at Senuko lodge a few years ago….

Hard as leadwood seems to be, indestructible though it appears, it is intensely vulnerable…..

leadwood cattle paddock fence posts

Thank goodness many of these powerful sculptures survived the vissitudes of fire, and my plans are to create an installation of these iconic leadwood posts, each housing some Burnt Offerings in the notches, are slowly growing….in my garden and in my mind!

In my garden…and in my mind….

Pages from my sketch book..

Horns, bones, skulls, wood ……

Skeletons fascinate me, symbols of all that is left once the soft tissue of the body has disintregated, a symbol, a link between our earthly selves and our spiritual selves…

Burnt Offerings…

Bones, shells, “offerings” in the quest of finding ourselves, releasing our creative potential,

leadwood posts; boundaries and offerings, restrictions and freedoms…

My found objects, my saved objects, skulls and burnt picture frames, are indicative of resilience, reflecting the fragile ecosystems around me, within me…

always I sketch, here is my found impala skull, possibly a lion or wild dog prey, the beautiful struggle of LIFE…..

Lin Barrie, Impala Skull studies, charcoal acrylic and oil on handmade paper….
Found impala skull, possibly a lion or wild dog prey, the beautiful struggle of LIFE

“Burnt Offerings” indeed, “Beautiful Struggle” for sure……the cycle of loss, sacrifice and continued perseverance and faith towards the bigger picture……

Sketches ongoing, fascination with birds, with phoenixes, moving towards taking flight…

Take Flight….
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Living with Cattle and Wildlife; Ecological Dancing…

The meetings of two worlds, Mahenye Community and the Gonarezhou National Park.

Cattle skin and kudu horn, products of domesticity and wilderness respectively, unit to create the tools of culture and dance on the sands of the Save River… ‘ecological’ dance?!

Lin Barrie, “Dancers”, acrylic and beads on canvas, 3 x 4 feet, with skin drums and kudu horn

Nguni cattle herded at dusk by children from Chief Mahenye’s Village, on the banks of the Save River…

Children from Chief Mahenye’s Village herding cattle on the edge of wilderness…

……overlooking the wilderness of Gonarezhou on the far bank… there be elephants!

Cattle herded at Dusk on the banks of the Save River…

Sunset, the nightfall of Africa, brings more contact between humans, cattle and wildlife……..

Lin Barrie, “Sunset Impressions” acrylic on canvas, 102 x 78 cm

At dusk, as onlookers, we have the luxury of a fire and a wilderness view

Cattle prints and human footprints in the sand by day….

Cattle prints

But these same children who herd cattle and dance on the sand by day………

child dancers

have to live with the thought that night might bring elephants to their parents fields, their food crops…

Lin Barrie, “Dancing with my Shadow”, acrylic on canvas, 4 x 3 feet

have to live with the thought that night might bring lions to their cattle……

The wonderful splotches and blotches of Nguni cattle entrance me, here is detail from my larger painting, “Nguni Sunset”….

and Wow…these colours from Dulux echo the feeling of Earth and Sunsets, Sand and Sunrises…

echo this ‘Brave Ground’ on the great Save River in Zimbabwe, this contact zone, between wilderness and domestic life…

Where elephant footprints mingle with man, wild dog with cattle…

sunset on the Save River looking into Gonarezhou…

and the clouded sunsets inspire my canvas!

Lin Barrie, “Pink Sky”, acrylic on canvas, 2 x 2 feet

an ecological dance…of man

an ecological dance of beast…

Lin Barrie, ‘Painted Wolf Sunset’, acrylic on canvas, 55 x 90 cm

Brave ground for all…how to co-exist ..?

sunrise on the Save from Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge deck

an ecological dance indeed………..

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