Beautiful Struggle and Burnt Offerings

Zimbabwe

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…..an ‘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
Adornment….

an ecological dance indeed………..

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Home is Where the Heart is; Where the Art is…….

What does home mean to me in these difficult ‘Covid’ times, times of worldwide isolation, restriction, social distancing…? 

Home can be a place to retreat to and a place of love, for me a place where I create my Art and nurture my Family, but for many less fortunate people perhaps it has become an uncomfortable place during this epidemic…

They say “Home is where the Heart is…” but in time of Covid, social distance and self-isolation at home can be devastating, destructive, for those who live alone, or indeed in abusive relationships, with no recourse to kindly human touch, empathetic human interaction…Please! lets nurture and lets celebrate the Kindly Human Touch!

Home is an online exhibition at The Corridor Gallery in Harare, and here are two of my artworks from that show…

Lin Barrie, “Social Distance“, reaching, needing, but not quite touching….

Lin Barrie, “Social Distance“, acrylic/charcoal on stretched canvas, 66 x 128 cm.

They say “Home is where the Heart is…” but in time of Covid, social distance and no recourse to kindly human touch, empathetic human interaction can lead to a breakdown od our mental well being, linked to our physical health……lets celebrate the “Hand on Heart” gesture, a form of greeting in many societies, and a gesture of love and goodwill…

Lin Barrie, charcoal sketch detail, showing a Hand on Heart gesture…respect, care for those around us, a universal symbol of love…

Handshaking and hugging are universal greetings which are compromised by Covid.

hand on Heart is another of my works on virtual display in the Home exhibition, at The Corridor Gallery, Harare

hand on heart
Lin Barrie, Hand on Heart, charcoal/acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet

What do we Do instead of a handshake or a hug!? Place Hand on Heart instead! I love it, here reflected in my painting “To Touch or Not To Touch”, currently on display at the Signs of The Times, annual summer exhibition, Gallery Delta in Harare…..

The ‘Hand on Heart” gesture gives perfect connection, a sense of respect and caring to the receiver….

Lin Barrie, To Touch or Not To Touch, acrylic and charcoal on canvas, 3 x 3 feet

Isolation and self protection from virus infection encourages people to use alternative modes of greeting instead of a handshake. Fist bumping, smiling, bowing, waving, and non-contact Namaste gestures, raised brows, smiling, wai bow, two claps, hand over heart, sign language wave, or the shaka sign elbow bump, the fist bump, foot tapping ….

Don’t Touch… a mantra being drummed into us all by the fears of pandemic and plague…

My painting To Touch, or Not, mixed media on stretched canvas, 2 x 3 feet, also on display at Gallery Delta, HarareSigns of the Times, Summer Exhibition.

Lin Barrie, To Touch, or Not, mixed media on stretched canvas, 2 x 3 feet

In our Tsonga (Hlengwe) tradition in the south east of zimbabwe (the northern Tsonga region towards the Limpopo River), Women use hand clapping horizontally and Men use hand clapping vertically as a form of thanks/greeting. Kubamavoko is the act of hand clapping,  Bamavoko is the noun.

Or, a wonderfully friendly solution for covid concerns, men use a Hand on Heart greeting…Kusheweta is the act of greeting, Sheweta the noun…….

Lin Barrie, detail from my larger work, Hand on Heart, charcoal/acrylic on canvas


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Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem; Dancing alone….’

Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem, Dancing alone….’

Painting by Lin Barrie…

.
Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem, Dancing alone….’

Dancing with my shadow, Dancing with my totem, Dancing alone is acrylic on canvas board, framed with Pod mahogany, size 4 x 3 feet.

It was exhibited at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe “Blood Relatives” (exhibition 2019)

In this acrylic painting, a woman dancer dances accompanied only by her shadow, stamping out her solitary rhythm in the dust of Africa, while overall looms her totem Ndhlovu, in the background, half obscured, but a force nevertheless….the challenge of human wildlife conflict and co-existence is implicit, but I choose to also illustrate a state of being, an aloneness. Maybe she is not so alone though with a powerful force, a ‘totem’ to shadow her every move.

For the exhibition Blood Relatives, with this painting, I choose to emphasis the questions:

when I dance, when I interact socially, who am I actually dancing with?

who am I actually talking to…..?

do I feel more distant and isolated today than in the past?

Is family identity, family Totem, as important as it once was?

Am I merely dancing with my shadow, talking to space, isolated and disempowered, or is the power of family, the power of totem, still as strong as before?

In the past, our families lived together more closely, were more reliant on each other for support, love, marriage and culture….now that people have dispersed from their family homes, and rely on technology for communication, we interact and see each other in a different way.

Although now we often “dance alone”, separated by distance or health issues from our loved ones, is the power of our respective cultures enough to connect us? Is the power of our Totems enough to continue to empower us, inform our decisions about life marriage and love? And during these times of isolation and lockdown, with the world in the grip of COVID-19 viral challenge, how much more alone and disconnected many of us feel….

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Brave Ground and Baobab Pink; Colour is a Cure for Covid Constipation

Let’s go on a virtual Baobab safari.. a colour adventure…

Like me, you must be covid-constipated! …tired of upheavals, lack of travel and covid concerns, let’s be adventurous, explore the world around us through online and virtual safaris! So..Break Brave Ground!

Lin Barrie, Baobab Ridge, acrylic on loose canvas, 32 x 98 cm

Memories of safaris past, and hopes for safaris future!…..

I am in love with two colours…”Brave Ground” and “Baobab Pink”……

one is the Dulux Clour of 2021 and one is my own personal colour that uplifts me at present!

Lin Barrie, Baobab Pink I, acrylic on brown paper, 32 x 46,5 cm with Dulux Brave Ground wallcolour
Lin Barrie, “Baobab Pink I”, acrylic on brown paper, 32 x 46,5 cm

In yet another year of concern and covid lockdowns, colour is a way to uplift and energize our tired psyches…; Colour is a Cure for Covid Constipation- whether it is the pink of an African sky reflected in the Save River at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge

Pink African sky at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge…

or the wallcolours created by Dulux Zimbabwe…

Colour your world, break Brave Ground and embrace nature, vist Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge online and enjoy virtual safaris photographs, unspoiled Africa, wilderness from your armchair…

My painting is called “Baobab Dance”, acrylic painting on canvas, 3 x 2 feet, (91 x 61 cm), here set against the Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge Save River view, with ‘Brave Ground’ dulux wallcolour….

Virtual safaris can lead you to magnificent trees, inspiration such as this beauty in Gonarezhou..

After that baobab inspiration, how about wallpaper your interior with such as this, an abstract artwork by Lin Barrie in collaboration with Robin Sprong Wallpapers…to complement the “Brave Ground” you are breaking…..

Lin Barrie Planet 1 – wallpaper

We can all explore and create worlds around us to uplift and energize our attitudes, our sense of well being… here is a virtual tour of Gonarezhou baobab for you, conducted by Chilo Gorge Safari Guides, (note the vehicle shadow on the ground and imagine yourself there…!)

After your virtual safari in Zimbabwe, or indeed, anywhere in the world, (the virtual world is your oyster after all).. create a room of colour and natural energy in your own home space.

Lin Barrie, baobab ridge, diptych, acrylic on stretched canvas,

Here is a closer view of one panel of my diptych, Baobab Ridge…

Lin Barrie, baobab ridge, diptych, acrylic on stretched canvas, panel 2

so many baobabs to choose from…

Gonarezhou

And who knows, you may remember some wonderful views of wild dogs seen under those iconic trees…

Lin Barrie, Lockdown Lycaons I, acrylic on brown paper, 35 x 46 cm
mammoth, venerable giant...of Gonarezhou
detail from my painting, Baobab Pink I, acrylic on brown paper, 32 x 46,5 cm

So, break brave ground, beat covid and explore all the places in the world you fancy, right from your laptop, get ready, re-invent yourself, embrace your surroundings but plan to visit in reality as soon as humanly possible!

Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, africa, African flora, African Safari, african trees, African wild dogs, african wildlife, african wildlife conservation fund, arid areas, art, art exhibition, baobab, beauty, bio diversity, bush camps, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, Colour of the YearYear, conservation, Corona Virus, Covid, Covid 19, dogs, eco-tourism, ecosystem, elephants, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Park, interior decor, interior design, landscape, landscapes, Lin Barrie Art, lowveld, Painted Dogs, painted Dogs, Painted Wolf Foundation, painted wolves, paintings, pandemic, photography, rewilding, Robin Sprong Wallpaper, Save River, sketching, skyscape, soft furnishings, travel, trees, Uncategorized, virtual art exhibition, wall art, wall murals, wallpaper, wild dogs, wilderness, wolves, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Parks, Zimbabwe Parks, Zimbabwean Artist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mosi Oa Tunya Literary Review; African Art and African Writing

Lin Barrie “Clouds”, acrylic on canvas, 2 x 3 feet

The Smoke That THUNDERS!!!

MOSI OA TUNYA LITERARY REVIEW

I am honoured to be included in the first multi-lingual, pan-African, online literary magazine from Zimbabwe!
— Read on www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/65274703/issue-1

Read Africa’s latest poetry and stories, view my art….

Posted in abstract art, Africa, African child, African flora, art collaboration, art exhibition, books, City Life, community, cultural beliefs, culture, drawing, fairytale, homegrown, landscapes, Lin Barrie Art, Lin Barrie publication, Mythology, oral history, Uncategorized, virtual art exhibition, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Endangered Landscapes – Earthscapes, Skyscapes; Wildscapes, Mindscapes…

Endangered Landscapes – Earthscapes, Skyscapes; Wildscapes, Mindscapes…

As an artist and conservationist, living in Zimbabwe, Africa, but having traveled much of the world, my passion is looking at details of the landscape around me, trees; flowers; weather patterns; wildlife; domestic stock; people’s culture, to try to understand and paint the bigger picture, the synergy. Whether I am observing African wild dogs, vultures and rural communities in our transfrontier corridors with National Parks in Zimbabwe and Mozambique; indigenous flowers in rewilding areas; Ocean and sand dunes in the Algarve or Mozambique; or Iberian Wolves, people and vultures in the Greater Coa Valley (which I hope to do!), weather systems and climate, endangered landscapes, fascinate me. In Zimbabwe we have just lived through the tail end of a cyclone that came from our Eastern neighbour, Mozambique, with high winds and driving rain which inspired my painting of the African coast at Beira,  which recently  had serious floods.  My painting is called “WindSwept’, acrylic on canvas board, in which I laid my canvas flat on the terra-cotta tiles of my verandah and allowed the rain to drop and spit on the wet paint as I worked, creating great texture….

A universal landscape, this abstract painting could also easily be reminiscent of the coast at Tavira or on the Rio Formosa in Portugal, or, indeed, a turbulent sky in Scotland.

Lin Barrie “Windswept”, acrylic on canvas board- note the spots of rain which enhanced the texture of the acrylic as I painted this flat on the landscape of my verandah !

Landscapes, landscapes…..From Zimbabwe and Mozambique to the Alladale Wilderness run by friend Paul Lister in Scotland, from exploration of the Scottish Highlands and West Coast with dear ‘wild’ friends Neil and Gordon Birnie of Wilderness Scotland, and rambles with friend Paddy through re-generated flower meadows behind churches in Crieff, to the stories and photographs of friends Kelly and Peter, Fiona and Mike, who live in Portugal, Rewilding Europe is an initiative which resonates, grabs my imagination!

My dream is that the movement could eventually flow into Africa, resulting in an initiative for Rewilding Zimbabwe, Rewilding Mozambique. I live in the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) straddling National Parks and rural communities in three countries, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa. Worldwide, landscapes surround us and indeed are inside us! whether they are wilderness landscapes or city landscapes, they reflect the health of our world, and our own emotional and mental health .

Winter woodland, Lin Barrie sketching with twig and ink

I never tire of documenting landscapes, people, animals and found objects. I often use natural tools such as twigs and grass to draw with ink, and my own handmade charcoal from local hardwood, making marks…

My own hardwood handmade charcoal

Living in the Lowveld of Zimbabwe, on the edge of Gonarezhou National Park, (Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge) and also in the Save Valley Conservancy, I sketch and paint constantly. Surrounded by local communities, lifestyles, cattle, goats and wildlife, daily I watch people interacting with such as African wild dogs, elephants and lions..

Young boys herding cattle in lion country at Mahenye, Zimbabwe

Culture and dance, tradition and stories, fascinate me.. … my painting is acrylic and beadwork on canvas, and my photograph is of our local hide and wood drums and the traditional Changana kudu Horn trumpet.

Lin Barrie, “ Dancing with my Sisters”, acrylic and beadwork on canvas, 3 x 4 feet…. with kudu horn trumpet and cowhide drums

“Tired Woman Sleeping on her Cowhide Drum”

Lin Barrie, “ Woman sleeping on her drum” sketch in the style of Rembrandt

and below is my “Recumbent Lion” …. in the style of Rembrandt,

These paintings was created for an exhibition “Rembrandt 350” celebrating Rembrandt and curated by the Dutch Embassy and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe

Lin Barrie, “Recumbent Lion” sketch in the style of Rembrandt

The GLTFCA is a unique, endangered landscape, straddling South East Zimbabwe and Mozambique.

My paintings and photographs celebrate our lowveld baobabs, surviving in a fragile landscape, Save Valley Conservancy, Gonarezhou, (GLTFCA), and Zambezi Valley, in Zimbabwe

If we can not preserve and nurture rewilding in conjunction with community development, tourism and cultures… and enable all people to understand, value and live sustainably with wildlife, our rural and urban communities worldwide will be the sadder for that, we will ALL be the sadder for that.

Gonarezhou National Park in Zimbabwe is home to the spectacular Chilojo Cliffs, Baobabs and a large population of elephants…

My painting below is called “Dancing with my Shadow”, (acrylic on canvas, 4 x 3 feet). Framed with a dead-harvested local hardwood frame.

Our local communities on the edge of Gonarezhou National Park have co-existed with elephants for centuries, but increased elephant densities and increased human settlement can bring conflict when food sources and crops are threatened.

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

African wild dogs, Lycaon pictus (aka Painted Wolves, Painted Dogs), are a key endangered species in our Zimbabwean landscape in much the same way as Iberian Wolves (Lobos Ibericos) in Portugal and Spain, and North American wolves in Yellowstone Park… similar challenges are faced with adverse public perceptions, historical persecution, hunting, trapping, snare wires and poisoning. I constantly paint and write about these endangered animals, and collaborate with fellow artists, scientists. Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and wine makers, Painted Wolf Wines, hold annual events to raise awareness!

Lin Barrie, “Wild dog pack in winter woodland”, acrylic on canvas, 200 cm

As with a wolf pack, African wild dogs are social, caring animals, and co-operative hunters. I constantly follow and watch our local wild dog packs, and am endlessly fascinated by their social strength and family bonds.

Here is one of my many action paintings of a pack in full hunt… “The Chase”, acrylic on loose canvas, 88 x 180 cm..

The Chase, acrylic on loose canvas, 88 x 180 cm by Lin Barrie

My photo collage below shows two tall flagpoles filled with some of the snare wires that we have collected in our area over the last ten years…. and some of the wild dogs killed in years past which had government bounties on their tails, considered as vermin in competition with domestic stocking and hunting. Through my photographs and my art, portraying the challenges of traps and snare wire for our wild dog packs such as the one below, (with our alpha female visibly pregnant), I collaborate with and support two committed Predator/Wild Dog research and outreach initiatives in the field, called African Wildlife Conservation Fund and Painted Dog Conservation. Hands on Conservation, monitoring of pack health and dens, and removal of wire snares plus community outreach, library and education programmes are ongoing.

Challenges faced by endangered African wild dogs… and our work in the field to protect them….

My approach in my art is multi disciplinary, often 3 dimensional, and collaborative. In pursuit of my art and in raising awareness of African Wild Dogs and endangered landscapes, I sketch landscapes, wild dogs, skulls, and footprints. I have followed in the steps of Picasso and painted ceramics! I have painted a “Wild Dog” tourism aeroplane in collaboration with a master spray painter; I have collaborated with my make-up artist daughter to create wild dog body paint for a conservation dinner/fundraising; I have donated artwork to a seminal coffee table book on “Painted Wolves” which benefits Painted Wolf Foundation; I have created a “Painted Wolf “ fashion outfit with Spanish designer Manuel Fernandes; and my wild dog paintings are used on Painted Wolf Wines labels, a great wine making initiative which directly benefits wild dog conservation, and with Wine and Wild Dog tourism weekends held yearly at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. Wine and wild dogs go together!

My Multi collaborative approaches help to raise awareness and enjoyment of our endangered wild dogs and their landscapes….

“The Burnt Picture”, art installation with Wildebeeste Skull, fabric print by Lin Barrie and burnt frame

Fire, found objects and my printed art fabric create an art installation, comment on the fragility of our landscapes, our ecosystems… Lin Barrie

Wallscapes, Landscapes, Comments on fragile landscapes…….

“Regeneration”, art installation/collage by Lin Barrie, snare wire, horn, bone and oil on canvas

"Regeneration", installation/collage by Lin Barrie, horn, wire, bone and oil on canvas
“Regeneration”, installation/collage by Lin Barrie, horn, wire, bone and oil on canvas

My art collaboration in Harare with the Australian Embassy, Miracle Missions Trust (directed by Sharon Hook) and a young art student in Harare, took the form of a mural painting, with an ecosystem message……save our Wetlands! Wall art in an Urban Landscape, accessible to all…….

Lin Barrie and art student Wall Mural..collaboration with Miracle Missions and the Australian Embassy in Harare, Zimbabwe

Urban landscapes are made meaningful by recycling, refuse collection and celebration of nature, and I recycle waste into art, in collaboration with my fellow artist Booker, Plus create fun dustbins for urban areas……

Lin Barrie: large painting “Jacarandas” in collage with “Sunshine”, my recycled waste art painting collaboration with friend Booker plus a dustbin that I painted for the city of Harare refuse collection project in collaboration with the National Gallery and the Italian Embassy

My abstract water, sky and earth paintings have been translated into a Wallpaper and Fabric range by Robin Sprong Wallpapers, spreading my love of natural ecosystems into interior design, interior landscapes……..

Lin Barrie wallpapers in collaboration with Robin Sprong Wallpapers …enhancing wellbeing in interior landscapes..back to nature!

Lin Barrie, “A River Runs, (diptych), I and II”, acrylic on loose canvas, 80 x 100 cm and 80 x 80 cm

Continuing my thoughts on landscapes, and the interior landscapes we choose, whether decor, wallpaper or the creative local foods that we eat, are informed by our exterior healthy landscapes. For me a rewilded natural landscape with indigenous flowers and fruits is vital for the food we put into our bodies. As well as paintings I love producing “food art”, such as my Flame Lily Chilli art flatbread and my Portuguese Peri Peri Chicken, using a local ‘village chicken’, free range and healthy, slow roasted over an open charcoal fire.
My ‘Pinyada Piñata’ is a paper mache sculpture, in celebration of a local wild fowl, a bird called a Guinea Fowl. It is created from chillies, handmade paper roses and palm fibre.
Main painting by Lin Barrie, “Wildlowers Impression”, acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 104 cm and the small A3 painting, “Flame Lilies”, is acrylic on paper.

A pinyada piñata!

Inner Landscapes… YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT !

Worldwide there are so many  seasonal local fruits and vegetables to use, if we only embrace them, listen to our grandmothers and use them! Health and Energy the natural, re-wilded way!

In Zimbabwe, Baobab powder from the rotund fruit of the indigenous baobab trees is a valuable anti-oxidant, whether adding to Maize porridge (Polenta), baking desserts or  whisking up power drinks and smoothies…

Rewilding our inner landscapes, the inner well being of our healthy bodies, is just as important as rewinding our exterior landscapes!

My Fitness and Health Trainer daughter Kelli Barker is also a talented Make up artist. She and I use baobab powder constantly as an addition to our food and we collaborate on photo shoots, my painted art and her food and body art!

Baobabs, immense waterwise succulent ‘trees’, are an integral part of my lowveld landscapes, growing and revered in the wilderness and in the rural communities. I paint baobab trees and their flowers constantly, and use the flowers in landscape installations for my photography. Their importance to rural communities is great, and apart from being a food source fibre from the tree is stripped to create string, rope and woven mats. I noticed a baobab type flower as one of the motifs on our local hut paintings recently, wonderful decorations painted and repainted yearly on their hut walls, by creative house proud women with natural earth and bark pigments from the surrounding landscape,

Li Barrie…Acrylic paintings, hut paintings, photographic art installations of baobab flowers in the landscape

The indigenous Flora of any landscape is such an inspiration for me, so integral to rewilding and a healthy ecosystem, and balm for the human soul as well as the bees…. Tree and wild flower meadow planting, regeneration, are the way to restore our endangered landscapes. In so many cases if we but give nature a chance, and leave spaces to recover naturally, rewilding comes easy.

Skyscapes, cloudscapes, all we have to do is look up,  look outwards, look inwards…visions to dream into:

My small painting is part of a series, Serendipity. This is “Serendipity 2”, acrylic on paper, A3…

Skyscape, cloudscape, dreamscape

This landscape, cloudscape, is called “Kgalagadi Pan”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet ….

Lin Barrie, “Kgalagadi Pan”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 3 x 2 feet ….

Art installations in landscapes are one of my passions, such as this sand sculpture on the banks of the Save River (Rio Save) which runs through Zimbabwe and through Mozambique all the way to the Indian Ocean, an ancient trade route for our Changana people and the Portuguese traders who sailed their ships along the coast of Africa. The installation, created by Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge for delighted guests at sundown, is enhanced with found objects, stones, by my grandchildren…..

beach installation on the banks of the Rio Save, celebrating a fragile landscape which divides Gonarezhou National Park and Mahenye rural community…

the story of the place, the landscape, unfolds as the fire is lit and burns, as footprints multiply around it on the sand…a progressive story as wind blows, water flows, clouds shift and fire burns….

Inner Landscapes are just as endangered as Wilderness Landscapes in these Covid infested times, when people worldwide suffer isolation and lockdowns, curfews and fear. But there is hope…..

My painting is on exhibition at the National Gallery Zimbabwe… “STATE OF CORONA, The Sun Will Rise Again Post Covid”, (acrylic on canvas, 90 x 128 cm)- this is inspired by traditional African cultural masks and the ‘plague doctor’ with a birdlike mask who operated during medieval times ….

“STATE OF CORONA, The Sun Will Rise Again Post Covid”, by Lin Barrie, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 128 cm

We hold the solution to our own health in our hands, and I have done a series of artworks -paintings and art videos, reflecting our health landscapes during the coronavirus challenge, embracing our place in nature…

Monoprint is a form of art practice that I use to celebrate plant life and landscape, printing directly from plant leaves, from my hands, and from other found objects onto canvas or handmade paper to create art statements – such as this Monoprint from an indigenous Phoenix reclinata palm frond….

palm installation by Lin Barrie
Lin Barrie, Monoprint from an indigenous Phoenix reclinata palm frond….acrylic on canvas, 2 x 2 feet

“Nothing to Hide”, below, is my finished artwork, mixed media on handmade paper – a comment on our ‘hand print’ on endangered landscape, our ability to change landscape for better, or for worse…our choice!!!!

Lin Barrie “Nothing to Hide”, mixed media on handmade paper, 49 x 64 cm

The palms of my hands and plant palm fronds, play together in my mind as I create art collages to represent the healthy landscape, the need to surround ourselves with nature for our health and well being

Thinking about the worldwide Corona landscape, our personal micro landscapes, the bacteria and micro organisms that live within us and around us worldwide are forces for good and evil…

and so I created a face mask from my original painting, to celebrate nature and reflect the care we should have for our personal landscape and the wider world landscapes..

my daughter Kelli Barker, make up artist, models my corona face mask, printed from my large artwork called “ Palm Impressions” and my art video called “To Touch or Not to Touch”

My art videos, comments on the inner landscape of isolation and covid, are created on iPad and from my charcoal sketches

Such as this one called “ Handshake”

Our well being, our mental health and happiness, is enhanced by Landscape, by Art, by Nature, by ReWilding…

My view of the great Rio Save …what a landscape!

The Rio Save near the border of Zimbabwe and Mozambique, at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, and detail from my larger painting “Hands on Hearts”

Here’s my full painting below…“Hands on Hearts”….a celebration of humans in nature, in a healthy landscape…

Hand on Heart is a traditional Changana ( Shangaan/ Tsonga) greeting.

The Social Landscape of traditional human socializing is explored in my painting “To Touch or Not”, acrylic/charcoal on canvas, 2 x 3 feet, online “Summer Exhibition” at Gallery Delta, Harare:

To Touch, or Not, mixed media on stretched canvas, 2 x 3 feet

“To Touch or Not to Touch”, acrylic/charcoal on canvas, 3 x 3 feet, online “Summer Exhibition” at Gallery Delta, Harare:

“To Touch or Not To Touch”, Lin Barrie, acrylic/charcoal on canvas, 3 x 3 feet

Much like Iberian wolves or African wild dogs, we all need to be ‘part of a pack’…The Inner Landscape, the need for human touch, the need to act as a social animal, is portrayed in my art videos…I use iPad ArtRage to draw and sketch from landscapes and life, finding this to be a direct and powerful tool of expression.

Here is one of my “To Touch or Not” series of sketches, which became an art video…. View my video here: https://youtu.be/SN-u4TI0nTw

My Endangered Landscapes include iconic baobabs and thorn trees in our semi-arid Lowveld areas in Zimbabwe

Endangered and fragile

My landscapes are lived, loved and created with handmade charcoal, oil and acrylic on canvas…..

Thorns and Baobab”, Lin Barrie, painting acrylic/charcoal, 79 x 100 cm

Myths, tales, legends and literature inspire my artworks, such as the traditional oral folktales of the Changana (Shangaan) people here in Zimbabwe which we have collected over the years, and the myths and fairy tales of Europe.

One of my favourite stories is that of how the Giant African land snail came to be the revered Totem of the local Chauke Clan at Mahenye in the South East corner of Zimbabwe, adjacent to Mozambique. It is fire-related, a fascination for me. I often paint and write about fire. Read more about that story in my related blog

Poetry, my own or in collaboration, inspires me, and I worked with Tsoko Gallery (Marcey Mushore) and the British Embassy in Harare, to record my feelings towards a poem by a local Zimbabwean Poet, Taruwona. Dealing with the inner endangered landscape of human emotions and gender-based violence, my response was two large art canvases, landscapes titled “Fire” and “Water”…..

Using my favourite painting tool, an old palette knife inherited from my father, I inscribed abstract images in acrylic onto canvas. Empowered by my own father’s fair and unconditional love during my childhood and adult years, I felt strong…. Inspired by the history of Chinese brushstroke painting, poetry and calligraphy, I painted….

Here below are my two Poetry-inspired pieces,  “A letter to my son, inscribed in Water…” and  “A letter to my son, inscribed in Fire…”  in response to that amazing and powerful poem.

I have taken Water and Fire as subjects for my abstract “landscape”paintings,  symbolism of the trials of life, the challenges faced by men in their fair relationships with women, reflecting the mood of the poem…. 

Water is  gentle, a cleansing element, soothing and meditative, but you can drown in it …..

Fire is fierce, a cleansing element, creative and turbulent, but you can burn up in it……

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

Here are a few of my sketches for a book launch/ music/art event held in Harare. This book is an Ecological Fantasy – a modern myth (set in a futuristic endangered African landscape), called “Rise of the Vaesons”, written by Zimbabwean author P.J.Odendaal….

Some of my artworks inspired by the tale of “The Rise of the Vaesons”:

Vultures” ……

Lin Barrie, The Rise of the Vaesons, Vultures, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm

Wild Dog Sisters”…

The Rise of the Vaesons, wild dog Sisters, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm
Lin Barrie, The clairvoyant lioness Sheira-

Thinking books and stories, I support Tikki Hywood Trust in protecting Pangolins in Zimbabwe, (endangered through the illegal wildlife trade). Friend Sarah Savory has written stories about these fascinating animals, which we launched and read to children at a “pangolin weekend” at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge. My own art and photographs, Child Art, Food Art , all are valuable tools in learning about endangered animals, endangered environments. Creative food, stories and art– what better way to engage children and adults alike!?

Pangolin tales, pangolin art, pangolin food art, children’s art… opening hearts and minds…

My iPad goes everywhere with me, ideal for capturing ideas and landscapes…….. 

Lin Barrie iPad art

My own poetry is a  powerful tool which I often use with my mark making…

Body art,  in collaboration with my daughter Kelli Barker, Make Up and Body artist, is a strong statement together with my art canvases……..

My endangered landscapes are everywhere, worldwide, within and without…

wherever an ecosystem needs to be rewilded, wherever a sense of well being is needing nurturing…..

“Where Rock Meets Sky”, (acrylic on canvas, 3 x 4 feet)…where my eye meets nature, meets landscape.

Lin Barrie, Where Rock Meets Sky, acrylic on canvas, 3 x 4 feet

All photographs and paintings are property of the artist, Lin Barrie.

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Aldo Leopold shot a wolf and it changed his life; I live with Painted Wolves and it has changed my life….

Aldo Leopold inspires my thoughts:

Sometimes you need to lose something to realize how precious it is… as in his comment on shooting a she-wolf in his hunting days….

“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then and have known ever since that there was something new to me in those eyes, something known only to her and to the mountain”.

Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

Nothing could be more resonant of the Leopold quote than the intense eyes of this magnificent Iberian Wolf – credit to Life WolFlux which is part of Rewilding Portugal

‘A fierce green fire’ …this image of an Iberian Wolf is credit to Re-Wilding Portugal Life WolFlux project…

Endangered European and North American wolves and endangered African wild dogs (AKA Painted Wolves, Painted Dogs) resonate in my mind. They are charismatic social animals and apex predators in healthy ecosystems, hunters who, in the past and often in the present, have been persecuted by Man, considered as vermin with bounties paid for their tails…..as in this childhood photograph from Clive Stockil

wild dogs persecuted as vermin- Clive & Vhandi with wilddogs shot on Essanby, Zimbabwe – mid 1950’s

I have lived for the last 23 years with Clive Stockil, (winner of the Tusk/ Prince William Award for a lifetime of dedicated Conservation in 2013…) and we have observed various packs of African wild dogs in the Save Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou National Park, Zimbabwe. Senuko Ranch and Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge are my home bases. This area is part of the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA), which encompasses rural communities and national parks within Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

Working from my bush house, I paint large canvases, overseen by another natural predator, the vulture!

The fierce green fire that Aldo Leopold acknowledges is the same fierce red fire I see in our wild dogs eyes…

a fierce red fire…..

As I progress, using my field sketches to create a new large painting on canvas, the parts begin to make the whole…. a young dog stares out at me, red fire in her eyes, fierce yet wondering…

red fire in her eyes, fierce yet wondering…

and the rest of her pack follow, decisions on the best way forward for a successful hunt are high in their minds….

Decisions, decisions, where to from here….?

Heres the final LARGE painting … ( it is on loose canvas, hence a few wrinkles which will stretch out with framing…)

Lin Barrie, “Decisions”, acrylic on loose canvas , 140 x 185 cm

My photographs and field sketches embrace the warmth and social care that the African wild dog packs exhibit for each other..here is our Mbungo Pack, with the Alpha Male and Alpha female in the foreground…

wild dogs photo by Lin Barrie, – Mbungo pack – the alpha female pregnant April 2018

Sketching and watching these social hunters is one of my primary joys…. and I work towards raising awareness of these charismatic animals, as essential threads in the wonderful tangled webs of our wild ecosystems.

Lin Barrie “Wild dog Sisters”, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm

Vultures and eagles follow naturally after wild dogs, cleaning up and maintaining healthy environments, and they are dramatic subjects for me to sketch of course… Vulpro creates great awareness of the importance of these characterful birds in our ecosystems…

Lin Barrie “Vultures”, mixed media on loose canvas, 90 x 87 cm

Our challenge worldwide is to embrace wildlife adjacent to and within human and domestic animals systems, to view the whole picture of mosaic landscapes and creatures as one…

Lin Barrie, ‘Thorns and Baobab’, acrylic/charcoal, 79 x 100 cm

Certainly in Zimbabwe, I begin to see a change of heart in rural communities, such as these Xangana herders shepherding their Nguni cattle in a sand forest shared with wild life on the edge of Gonarezhou National Park. Outreach conservation/education allows them to understand the possibility of co-existence with wildlife… when they spot wild dogs they message us at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge and tell us, showing excitement and not concern…

Our local communities speak Shona, English, Shangaan (Tsonga and Hlengwe) and Portuguese, and they call wild dogs ‘Hlolwa’ in the native languages, ‘Mabeco’ in Mozambique, and I guess ‘Lobo’ in Portuguese! What’s in a name!?

Awareness of the interlinked web of life that we all share has a long way to go, but initiatives such as African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines, Endangered Wildlife Trust, Tusk Trust and Painted Dog Conservation in Africa and also such as Life WolFlux in The Rewilding Europe programme, ARE making a difference…

Culture, art, stories myths, fairytales and poetry are powerful education and conservation tools worldwide, and here they combine in this powerful poem from Zimbabwe by young Emmy, succinct comment on our present and hope for our future….

Painted Dog Conservation and photo by Nicholas Dyer

Painted Dog Conservation and African Wildlife Conservation Fund empower local communities to tolerate wild animals in their areas, by interactive education and practical management of conflict between people and wild dogs…

Painted dog pup rescued…Painted Dog Conservation photo
African Wildlife Conservation Fund photo

My hope is high for the future of humanity and animal co-exisitence- there is a will, and the right decisions ARE being made in many re-wilding areas…

It all comes down to the decisions that we as humanity make for our future, Decisions, DECISIONS!

Let’s not let the fire go out…….

Create awareness, create physical and mental corridors!!!! We are working on corridors within the GLTFCA here in Africa. Let’s embrace corridors worldwide that can link ecosystems, create mosaics of diversity for the betterment of all…

My painting “Hands on Hearts” expresses my wish for a global social ‘togetherness”, a healthy environment and a stable human community….

Lin Barrie, “Hands on Hearts”, acrylic painting on canvas, 90 x 128 cm

Lin Barrie, “HANDS ON HEARTS“, acrylic on loose canvas, 90 x 128cm

Painted Wolves, (aka African Wild dogs, Painted dogs), although Canidae, are not a species of wolf or dog, and can not interbreed with wolves or domestic dogs. lycaonp pictus are unique unto themselves.

But Lycaon pictus are our African equivalent of the European and North American wolf races in their social habits, and in their predation on indigenous antelope and other smaller mammals.

read my blog and visit Painted Wolf Foundation for more fascinating facts

all the various common names for the same wonderful creature, Lycaon pictus….

read my blog-all the various common names for the same wonderful creature, Lycaon pictus….
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Think Social, Think Survival; Be Gentle……..

This New Year of 2021, I have something to hang straightaway on your wall…especially for you during stay at home lockdowns… energize your space! My art collaboration, with make up artist Kelli Barker … (photography by DaXiOn and Lin Barrie), uses my original painting Diptych called “ Energy” and my wallpaper/ fabric print called “Autumn” as backdrops for 3D body art. During Lockdown, these six prints are available to order and hang on your wall…a reminder during these COVID times and enforced lockdowns that we, as social animals, need to be gentle with each other, caring of ourselves and aware of the creativity and force for good within each and every one of us….. 1. Energy, Colour, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches:

Hand Energy, Lin Barrie, Colour, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


2. Hand Energy, Mono, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches

Hand Energy, Lin Barrie, Mono, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


3. Hands Laid On, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches

Hands Laid On, Lin Barrie, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


4. Refrain, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches

Refrain, Lin Barrie, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


5. Speak No Evil, Mono, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches

Speak No Evil, Lin Barrie, Mono, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


6. Think Before You Speak, Colour, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches

Think Before You Speak, Lin Barrie, Colour, Inkjet print on canvas, limited edition, 12 x 12 inches


Here are mock ups of the prints in rooms, to whet your appetite….plus Original painting “Energy”, and fabric “Autumn”, which was used as a background in some of the prints….

“Energy” diptych by Lin Barrie, acrylic on stretched canvas, each 2 x 2 feet
Lin Barrie art “Autumn” printed on fabric…

Energy….

Detail “Energy” … One panel of the diptych

More Energy!

Detail: “Energy” …second panel of the diptych
Posted in abstract art, Africa, African child, art, art collaboration, art exhibition, artprints, beauty, Body Art, body artist, Body Painting, City Life, Corona Virus, Covid, Covid 19, culture, Design, Energy, Fabric, fabric design, family, Friendship, Heart, interior decor, interior design, Lin Barrie Art, Lin Barrie publication, love, make up, make up artist, media, monoprint, New Year, paintings, pandemic, photography, printed fabric, printmaking, Robin Sprong Wallpaper, serenity, sharing, tradition, virtual art exhibition, wall art, wallpaper, zimbabwe | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Will the Sun Rise Again Post Covid?!; Lin Barrie, “Hands on Hearts”, acrylic painting on canvas, at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe, 2020

In 2020 a global disaster struck, as the virus Covid 19 rapidly became top of the news and top of human concerns worldwide..

here is part of my larger painting, portraying a hand on heart greeting, common to the Changana community with whom we live in the South Eastern lowveld of Zimbabwe…

The Hand on Heart greeting is called Kusheweta ….

In response so many art galleries had to close doors, close exhibition opening and work from home, from safe spaces. The world of Art Fairs and shows turned upside down and went online. In response The National Gallery of Zimbabwe curated an online exhibition, titled “Will the Sun Rise Again Post Covid?”

Enough of #socialdistancing and #isolation in #lockdown! …hands not touching, reaching out but unable to make contact…is the #cure or #precaution worse than the #disease?! We are #socialanimals, and the lack of skin contact, severance of human connection, must surely damage our psyche, our sense of well being, in far-reaching ways…

We need to find a way to encourage and manage social contacts, so as to preserve each others health and preserve the health of our whole eco-systems…

My painting “Hands on Hearts” expresses my wish for a global social ‘togetherness”, a healthy environment and a stable human community….

Lin Barrie, “Hands on Hearts”, acrylic painting on canvas, 90 x 128 cm

handshake is a globally widespread, brief greeting or parting tradition in which two people grasp one of each other’s like hands, in most cases accompanied by a brief up-and-down movement of the grasped hands. Using the right hand is generally considered proper etiquette. Customs surrounding handshakes are specific to cultures. Different cultures may be more or less likely to shake hands, or there may be different customs about how or when to shake hands. The handshake is believed by some to have originated as a gesture of peace by demonstrating that the hand holds no weapon
Handshakes are known to spread a number of microbial pathogens. Certain diseases such as scabies are known to spread the most through direct skin-to-skin contact. A medical study has found that fist bumps and high fives spread fewer germs than handshakes

Policies encouraging people to use alternative modes of greeting instead of a handshake have become a feature of 2020… such as fist bumping, smiling, bowing, waving, and non-contact Namaste gestures, raised brows, smiling, wai bow, two claps, hand over heart, sign language wave, or the shaka sign elbow bump, the fist bump, foot tapping !

It has been discovered as a part of a research in the Weizmann Institute, that human handshakes serve as a means of transferring social chemical signals between the shakers. It appears that there is a tendency to bring the shaken hands to the vicinity of the nose and smell them. They may serve an evolutionary need to learn about the person whose hand was shaken, replacing a more overt sniffing behavior, as is common among animals and in certain human cultures (such as Tuvalu, Greenland or rural Mongolia, where a quick sniff is part of the traditional greeting ritual)Namaste, a traditional Hindu greeting, means, “The Divine within me bows to the same Divine within you” 
Countries such as  Japan, Korea,  do not have a tradition of shaking hands and prefer to formally bow (with hands open by their sides) to each other,

  • Related to a handshake but more casual, some people prefer a fist bump. Only the knuckles of the clenched hand are touched to the knuckles of the other person’s hand. Like a handshake the fist bump may be used to acknowledge a relationship with another person. However, unlike the formality of a handshake, the fist bump is typically not used to seal a business deal or in formal business settings.
  • The hand hug is a type of handshake popular with politicians, as it can present them as being warm, friendly, trustworthy and honest. This type of handshake involves covering the clenched hands with the remaining free hand, creating a sort of “cocoon”.
  • Another version popular with politicians is a “photo-op handshake” in which, after the initial grasp both individuals turn to face present photographers and camera men and stay this way for several seconds.
  • Scouts shake hands with their left hand as a gesture of trust, a practice which originated when the founder of the movement, Lord Baden-Powell of Gilwell, then a British cavalry officer, met an African tribesman.
  • In some areas of Africa, handshakes are continually held to show that the conversation is between the two talking. If they are not shaking hands, others are permitted to enter the conversation.
  • Masai men in Africa greet one another by a subtle touch of palms of their hands for a very brief moment of time.
  • In Liberia, the snap handshake is customary in which the two shakers snap their fingers against each other at the conclusion of the handshake.
  • In Ethiopia, it is considered rude to use the left hand during a handshake. While greeting the elderly or a person in authority, it is also customary to accompany the handshake with a bow and the left hand supporting the right. This is especially important if it is the first time.
  • In Thailand, handshaking is only done if the traditional “Wai” is not offered. The person will offer what’s called a “wai,” placing their palms together at chest level and bowing. Return the gesture. 

The shaka sign, sometimes known as “hang loose” and in South Africa as “tjovitjo” (pronounced tcho-VEE-tcho), is a gesture of friendly intent often associated with Hawaii and surf culture. It consists of extending the thumb and smallest finger while holding the three middle fingers curled, and gesturing in salutation while presenting the front or back of the hand; the hand may be rotated back and forth for emphasis. While the shaka sign has spread internationally from its Hawaiian cultural roots to surf culture and beyond, the hand gesture also bears a variety of meaning in different contexts and regions of the world.


In our Tsonga (Hlengwe) area of south east zimbabwe (northern Tsonga region towards the Limpopo River), Women use hand clapping horizontally, Men use hand clapping vertically.

Kubamavoko is the act of hand clapping Bamavoko hand clapping.

Or, my favourite greeting, men use Hand on Heart.
Kusheweta is the act of ‘ hand on heart’ greeting, and Sheweta is the noun.

Lin Barrie, Life studies, Charcoal Sketches: in response to Social greeting customs and Covid Concerns..


“Handshake”, by Lin Barrie, charcoal on white paper, A2 size


“Don’t Touch”, by Lin Barrie, charcoal on white paper, A2 size

“Hand on Heart” by Lin Barrie,  charcoal on white paper, A2 size


View my art video/slideshow…

Hand on Heart video you tube link:


               https://youtu.be/-c77-8ucYV8             

Here is my painting hung in a virtual room, with a gorgeous yellow life-affirming settee, which I chose because of the hopeful and positive colour!

I created that virtual hanging before pantone announced, as they do annually, their choice of ‘Colour of the Year’

I am intrigued by the serendipitous Pantone Colour of the year 2021 announcement… Two colours chosen, a Golden Yellow colour called “Illuminating” and “Ultimate Gray”, both of which have great synergy with my Hands on Hearts painting…

Pantone says:

“The union of an enduring Ultimate Grey with the vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rock solid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.”

I could not have said it better myself!

Hope

Empathy

Positivity

Steadfastness

Friendship

Family

Health

Hands on Hearts, acrylic painting on canvas, by Lin Barrie…
Chief Mahenye’s people, the Hlengwe people of South East Zimbabwe (which is the Northern Tsonga region towards the Limpopo River) use the “hand on heart” greeting. ‘Kusheweta’ is the verb, the act of greeting, and ‘Sheweta’ is the noun, the greeting.

I choose to see the positive survival of these cultural traditions in a healthy Zimbabwean community, a vibrant ecosystem.
The sun WILL rise again post COVID. 
The universe is no doubt unfolding as it should.
The human spirit, in conjunction with the natural world, WILL prevail and triumph.

Sunset on the great Save River below Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, in the domain of Chief Mahenye
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