I have submitted an assemblage draped canvas artwork to the national gallery of Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe Visual Arts Awards annual show, titled “A Kite with a Broken String has all the Sky”
With a play on words between the kite one flies as a child and the yellow billed kite, a raptor in our Zimbabwean skies.
Pikicha gallery curator Kuda and myself in front of my art assemblage at the National gallery of Zimbabwe
here is a detail…
More of my “flight” and bird theme art will be featured in a forthcoming exhibition this year, with works by myself, my daughter Kelli Barker, make up artist, and Johnson Zuze, found objects artist -taking place at Pikicha Gallery in Harare
meanwhile here are some fascinating oral tradition bird stories from Zimbabwe…
I have been bumping into flights of them wherever I go in this gorgeous thick bush, and every morning as the sun rises, their sonorous, booming calls beckon me out of sleep. Just this morning, I sat on our front verandah and saw two of them fly across the far mopani tree line, and even at that distance their white and black wings bounced out of all the green foliage in the early morning light.
Lin Barrie, Hornbills I, acrylic on loose canvas, 104 x 179 cm ……
Two weeks ago I stopped and watched a flock of five, our local troop that hangs out around our house, the four adults harassed by a demanding juvenile with grey throat pouch and plaintive voice, “Feed me, feed me, please!” They all flew up right in front of me against a backdrop of steel grey rainclouds, late afternoon sun shining on the white translucence of their wings, and their red pouches flashing…..
An inspiration to paint, and the fact that they keep flying for me wherever I am seeing them, suggests that I need to think “flight” in my painting – abstract black and red against steel blue grey grounds…
Even describing this to you makes me want to rush into my studio and get out my palette knife!
The superb Madikwe Hills Private Game Lodge in South Africa is home to a diverse flora and fauna, including fascinating African wild dogs, and home to some of my wild dog art…
This large oil painting of mine is a permanent fixture on the wall of the dining room, a cultured space where comfort meets safari chic and delicious food is served to travelers from all over the world………
I could not think of a better venue to showcase my passion for biodiversity, wilderness and wild dogs… plus some Painted Wolf Wine of course! I have been honored for Painted Wolf Wines of Paarl to use some of my artworks as wine labels, reflecting the ethos of the teamwork of a wild dog pack, the dynamic social awareness that creates a successful business (or a successful hunting pack!)
#wine #art #bodypainting Join us! I am delighted that my #art sales will partly help PAINTED Wolf Wines to donate back to sound #organisations in Southern Africa such as Endangered Wildlife Trust Painted Dog Conservation Painted Wolf Foundation African Wildlife Conservation Fund …Well done for #wilddogs #antipoaching #conservation #dedication #hardwork #caring #paintedwolves Franschhoek, Western Cape Simondium Guild Bistro Simondium Guild #flora #fynbos #valkeyofdreams #franschhoek Kelli Barker Makeup and Body Art
my large painting titled “Valley, Dreams, Culture”, embraces the wine regions of the Cape – grapevines, history, culture, ecosytems, biodiversity …
This artwork is entwined with metallic highlights and tendrils the colours evocative of the bright skies, the purple mountains, the red and gold wines and the vibrant green grape leaves of this enchanting area
“Valley, Dreams, Culture”,
Mixed media on loose canvas
180 x 115 cm
My Cape Art Collection is on view at Painted Wolf Wines, Simondium Guild, between Paarl and Franschhoek…
We have a long history of collaboration and friendship; their wines and my art supporting conservation fundraising events, creating wine labels and nurturing our mutual passion for endangered African wild dogs (aka Painted Wolves or Painted dogs). African wild dogs, aka Cape Hunting Dogs, used to be common in the cape area……
My daughterKelli Barker, who is a professional make-up artist, shares this passion of ours and she often creates body art for our event, as she will do for this exhibition. Here she has painted herself…Wakanda, Wild Dog woman!!!!
My art encompasses fragile ecosytems – wild dogs, abstract landscapes, all flora and fauna.
For this exhibition, I have chosen the themes of wild dogs, wild ocean and wine lands, (especially focusing on Franschhoek, “Valley of Dreams”)
Lin Barrie, Valley of Dreams, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm
In the Cape area many restorations of ancient vineyards are taking place, celebrating the complexity of wines produced from Old Vines with great character.,..
Painted Wolf Wines embrace the use of these wonderful old vines and work closely with the Old Vine Project.
Although grape cultivation could be considered a monoculture, many growers are embracing organic and holistic wineland’s management, in many cases giving over areas to indigenous undergrowth and natural pesticide control- heartwarming as we lead into COP15 this year and try to preserve biodiversity in this world of ours….
Lin Barrie, Old Vine, acrylic on canvas, 90 x 90 cm
We are all, human and animal, part of the web of life, the vibrant yet often endangered ecosystems that make our planet earth worth living on!
I resonate strongly with the ethos of working together like a wild dog pack – teamwork gets things done, whilst allowing for empathy and considerate behaviour to each other!
We are all ‘part of the pack’
We all have ‘wild’ within us
We can all do good together.
My mantra is ‘Think globally Act locally’ !
From wild dogs to grape culture- fascinating ecosytems and ethos!
Cycles of Life and Death- two sides of the same coin
My painting, a dead wasp amidst the joyous yellows and purples of fallen jacaranda flowers, reflects the wonder I feel on observing nature and the world around me – the joy of the immensity and yet the minuteness of Life!
What do Elephant Translocation and Snare Wire Art have in common?! A lot, if you are an artist in Zimbabwe with a profound vision of the natural world and if you use that vision to create a life size African elephant from trash objects and repurposed snare wire!!!
Working from his home in Chitungwiza, Harare, and specializing in Found Objects Art, master artist Johnson Zuze laboured many months in creating this mammoth sculpture, (with frequent deliveries of snare wire from me- wire we collect during anti-poaching operations at Senuko Ranch in the Save Valley Conservancy)
The Elephant in the room was how to move and use this mammoth created from a fascinating array of found objects- treasure from trash!!…
The translocation first phase was a flat bed truck to winch and move the behemoth from the tight dusty streets of Chitungwiza to the potholed but leafy streets of Emerald Hill suburb – Daryl Nero’s old house -where the gentle giant stood for the opening of our exhibition, Memories and Musings…
The jewelled tusks of this mighty mammoth are a joy, but also a statement- the desirability of tusks in the illegal wildlife trade is ongoing-
Translocation second phase was another trek across H-town to the next even more leafy but still potholed suburb of Kambanje – into the well treed grounds of Amanzi Lodge!
And yet another translocation is due to take place in July 2022…!!
This time the translocation will be of real live elephants from the Save Valley Conservancy (SVC) to the Sapi Safari Area – watch this space for more on that as it rolls out over the next weeks.
SVC currently has many elephants after successful and groundbreaking translocations into Save Valley of a few elephant families from Gonarezhou during drought years in 1992 and 1993 – that success story has become a challenge as our elephants thrive and we need more space for them. So hopefully Sapi will be a wonderful new home for them to find that space…
Great Plains Conservation have a lease with Zimbabwe National Parks to manage the Sapi area- and we all look forward to a positive future for communities and conservation in Zimbabwe!
Progressions towards a bigger picture, thinking about fire, the cleansing power of it, the rebirth after it, the ‘sweeping clean’ of it.
Working on ‘sweeping clean” -a handmade African broom is a satisfying tool to clean my canvas and then to create tinders, black and white and gold sparks like calligraphy or graffiti which is then semi-obliterated by the action of the grass broom…. www.facebook.com/100063632527765/posts/435176581946756/
Sparks, golden calligraphy tracing the trials of life, the marks we leave…
The shadows on my studio wall inspire my mark making
A new broom sweeps clean……..
Watch this space! here it is finished…
Lin Barrie, Burnt Offerings, acrylic on canvas, 4×3 feet
African wild dogs have been translocated all over Southern Africa in increased efforts to re-introduce these predators into their traditional ranges where they have gone extinct or been unduly pressured.
A chance to increase survival potential of this charismatic endangered species.
Painted Dog Conservation relocated a pack that had threatened by rural commuities in Hwange to Mana Pools, but competition and pressure by hyena and lion seemed to prevail angst this particular dogs who rapidly dispersed far and wide..all a learning curve which is inevitable in mans attempt to find solutions for managing the endangered animals in our care…
Recently the celebrated re-inroduction of wild dogs into Gorongosa National Park caught my eye…
as also the introduction of wild dogs into Madikwe Safari Area of South Africa a few years ago….
plus the recent EWT introduction of Lycaon pictus into Malalwi, sponsored in part by Painted Wolf Wines- see more detail on that below…
Meanwhile, I have effected my own “Wild Dog Translocation”, from their home on the wall at Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, via Altair to Harare, then via DHL to North Carolina. My three wild dog puppies travelled in style and were very well behaved, adapting successfully to their new home….. !!
Lin Barrie Art, “Three Pups”, acrylic on stretched canvas, 2 x 2 feet
In a wonderful display of conservation and community support, Giles Raynor of AltAir kindly volunteered to airlift the three pups, (suitably protected!), from Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge on the edge of Gonarezhou National Park, to Harare, from where DHL kindly continued shipping them to a happy receiver in North Carolina, America!
More on a recent ‘real’ wild dog translocation…excerpt from Africa Parks news…. Blantyre, Malawi: On 27 July 2021, 14 African Wild Dogs (Lycaon pictus) were translocated successfully from South Africa and Mozambique to Liwonde National Park and Majete Wildlife Reserve, in an historic project to reintroduce this Endangered species to Malawi. The translocation was undertaken through a collaboration between the Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) and African Parks, which manages Liwonde and Majete protected areas in partnership with Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW). While helping to repopulate both parks, the reintroduction represents a major international effort to conserve African Wild Dogs, with only 6,600 individuals, or just 700 breeding pairs estimated to be left on the continent.
“The Wild Dog is one of Africa’s most Endangered mammals, so we’re extremely proud to have been able to establish safe spaces in Malawi where their long-term survival can be assured”, said the Director of Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife Brighton Kumchedwa. “The conservation of our country’s natural heritage is central to our national development strategy. Over the past two decades, our collaboration with African Parks and local communities has helped to restore multiple iconic species to our protected areas, contributing not only to meeting global biodiversity targets but to sustainable economic growth”.
The African Wild Dogs were sourced from Gorongosa National Park and Karingani Game Reserve in Mozambique, and Somkhanda Community Game Reserve and Maremani Nature Reserve in South Africa. On July 27th, all 14 animals were flown in a single aircraft from Mozambique’s Massingir Airport to Blantyre in Malawi. Eight were released into bomas in Liwonde National Park and six into bomas in Majete Wildlife Reserve, where they will remain for several weeks, allowing them to adjust to the new conditions before being fully released into the wider park areas. Each pack has been fitted with a mix of satellite and radio collars to facilitate the continual monitoring of their location and habitat use and ensure their long-term protection in the parks.
The DNPW and African Parks partnered in 2003 to manage Majete Wildlife Reserve and subsequently, in 2015, to manage Liwonde National Park, investing significantly in realising the ecological and economic potential of both parks. “Malawi has emerged as a leader in conservation through its progressive actions to revitalise its parks. Over the course of our 18-year partnership with the Malawian Government, we’ve translocated more than 4,000 animals of key species as part of our efforts to create secure, diverse wildlife sanctuaries that can provide a source of long-term socio-economic benefits for people. Wild Dogs are the latest apex carnivore to be reintroduced to Majete and Liwonde, where they will not only positively impact these ecosystems and their tourism potential, but also the survival of this critically threatened species in Africa” said African Parks’ Country Representative Samuel Kamoto.
Since 1998, the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s African Wild Dog Range Expansion Project, with guidance from the Wild Dog Advisory Group, has implemented reintroductions of African Wild Dogs across southern Africa. This project has dramatically increased Wild Dog safe space, pack numbers, population numbers, and genetic diversity. The EWT’s Carnivore Conservation Programme Coordinator, Cole du Plessis, reflects on the complexity of conserving African Wild Dogs. “They are a highly social species that require extensive space and are subject to several human-induced threats. With so few individuals of this species remaining, active work is required to reverse the declining trend by addressing the common threats (snaring, deliberate persecution and disease), intensive monitoring, conducting research projects, strengthening policy, creating awareness, and continually developing best management practice guidelines”.
Collective conservation efforts, including reintroductions into feasible, safe, protected areas, are crucial to enabling the African Wild Dog population to grow and thrive. This translocation was possible thanks to the core support of Remembering Wildlife’s new book Remembering African Wild Dogs, with additional support from Painted Wolf Wines, Tania Ihlenfeldt and Rob Hibbert, and The OAK Foundation. It would also not have been possible without the support of operational partners:
Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação, the Bateleurs, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, Gorongosa National Park, Green Dogs Conservation, the Karingani Game Reserve, the Department of Economic Development Environment and Tourism (LEDET), Malawi’s Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Maremani Game Reserve, Mozambique Wildlife Alliance, Somkhanda Community Game Reserve (Wildlands), UmPhafa Private Nature Reserve, and Wildlife ACT.
Bright Skies and Waterlilies…. Wonderful soaking rains in Harare have filled our dams at Borrowdale Brooke Estate and rejuvenated our gardens. A New Year and New Hope.
Bright skies behind palms start our day as we walk …
And the sun peeps through …
Early morning walks are a lesson in Reflections…this sky and water symphony on our walk remind me of Dulux Colour of The Year for 2022, which I have fallen in love with, called “Bright Skies”!…..and which is inspiration for the wall murals that a group of artists will create at the cancer centre in Harare…
Dreamy, delicious; Dulux “Bright Skies” radiates hope, calm and healing….
As we walk through Borrowdale Brooke, bright skies frame the flowers that I photograph, in perfect balance and harmony…
and a hymn of sunlit tree silhouettes is ours…an ode to the rising sun….
“Morning has Broken,
Like the first Morning….”
From the sun side of these very same trees, (at the entrance to the Brooke Estate), these glowing golden beauties are framed by a summer sky..
Beauty glows in every blade of grass at our feet
The ‘bright skies’ above us, the green wetland around, and a perfect pink rose, dewy in the early morning light, brings to mind our latest project-
….a large and growing group of artists and cancer survivors are working with Debi Jeans of The Pink Project, and Sophie Banks, Interior designer, to paint the walls of the Cancer Association Centre in Harare… ably helped by Junior and Linda of the cancer centre.
Maureen Cox, such an inspiration for us all in this endeavour, was former Bookkeeper and General Manager for the Cancer Association of Zimbabwe and sadly succumbed to breast cancer in 2020. She served as an employee for the Cancer Association for 10 years and offered her services as a volunteer thereafter. She was a highly valuable and respected team member. Her work will not be forgotten.
We will keep a list of various artists/ sponsors but will emphasize that it’s by no means a comprehensive list as many more volunteers/patients sponsors/artists will join as we go along – and whether we donate one hour or two months; one paintbrush or a whole bucket full of hardware, each donation no matter how small is filled with the same amount of love as every other donation
As we walk, looking for waterlilies in the dams of the Brooke as inspiration for the massage room at the Cancer Centre which is our allocated room to decorate, I think back to my memories of last years rainy season in Gonarezhou National Park, (my ‘other home’)…the mellow blue of Tembweharta Pan and the multitudinous white waterlilies which were food for my soul… bright skies indeed..
Then, we find them – Waterlilies in a Brooke dam, glowing in the early morning light…
So I will be in Harare with Kelli for a few weeks helping her and talented Rutendo Karikoga to paint the massage room mural at the Cancer Centre. Starting on Monday, we will develop a water lily and dragonfly theme …
Rutendo’s paintings are accomplished and deeply evocative – abstract expressions of emotion so powerful that I can not wait to see her in action.
Kelli’s paintings reflect intense nature and mood in a healing process, studied abstractions of emotion… her artworks are maturing, powerful and evolving, and I am so excited to share in what she brings to this project…
Here below is a mood board, to give you a feeling of what Debi, Sophie, Kelli, Ru and I have discussed for the massage room….water, waterlilies and dragonflies. And deeply inspired by Dulux’s “Bright Skies” – a calm and reflective colour of the year, for us to dream into. Thank you, Dulux Zimbabwe, for donating paints and Electrosales for donating the hardware to paint with!
Bear in mind that, since three very individual artists will come together and create something spontaneous, the finished walls and ceiling may not look like this at all, but will certainly reflect our hopes and dreams!
Mmmmm.. thinking dragonflies, those symbols of hope and luck in so many countries myths and beliefs…
My dear friend, Master wire and recycling artist Johnson Zuze, creates creatures with such presence that you can feel their thoughts, and believe you inhabit their world completely – such as this masterful yet whimsical dragonfly which alights in my garden – I want to paint like this- maybe this dragonfly will translate to the walls of the massage room!!
The fantastic beast’s thorax glows with jewel like recycled objects – and Oh …the eyes! Johnson’s visionary use of nespresso pods create large, multifaceted, compound eyes- so expressive !
And more fabulous inspiration by my friend and master metal worker, James Suraji, whose dragonfly shapes entrance me..and which have great meaning for Rutendo, who is on her own ‘dragonfly journey’
Impressionist artist Monet was the ultimate master of water, reflected ‘bright skies’ and waterlilies, so he is a strong inspiration for us…..
The white waterlilies of Tembweharta Pan in Gonarezhou, near Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge , (seen also in my photograph in the mood board)….
Tembweharta waterlilies inspired these large paintings of mine below when camping at Mahove Tented Camp a few years ago. The pans behind that delightful camp on the Runde River were also filled with waterfowl, kingfishers and myriads of these white beauties…
So, my own paintings of waterlilies are certainly a stepping off point in my own mind…
But only a stepping off point….I can’t wait to see what Rutendo, Kelli and I actually create on the walls of the massage room, allowing for serendipity, happy accidents, possible wrong turnings, all of which will teach us and lead in the end to the right way…. each day the walls will grow, in probably unexpected ways, and that is the joy of creating.
So, watch this space as the blog grows day by day with our artistic endeavours….!
the paint colours are seductive…..
…we begin to paint
Teamwork is everything
Debi Jeans our fearless leader and her daughter Rachel attack the ceiling – bright skies all the way!!!
Time to meditate –
at last a finished massage room ….
I have completed a large painting if that inspiring Moonflower seen and smelt on my daily walks – (and inspired hugely by my muse Georgia O’Keefe)… seen here in the exciting new creative showroom that Dulux Zimbabwe has created in Harare. more blogs on this Dulux collaboration to follow! Their company ethos, ”to do good”, truly resonates with me. Bright Skies indeed…