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…

youtu.be/kbMqWXnpXcA

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 :
Posted in abstract art, Antiquity, archeology, art, art collaboration, art exhibition, art video, Body Art, body artist, City Life, cultural beliefs, culture, dance, Fabric, fashion, film, flight, gallery delta, greek legend, hellenic, k Goddess, Life Drawing, Lin Barrie Art, love, make up, media, movies, music, myth, Mythology, Nike, oral history, paintings, photography, Rembrandt, sculpture, sketching, The Louvre, theatre, tradition, treasure, Uncategorized, video, virtual art exhibition, wall art, wall murals, Winged Victory, Winged Victory of Samothrace, Zimbabwean Artist | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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.

youtube.com/watch

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
“Emergence” 
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 this 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 I will get to see her reality!

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…..read 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 I am planning on submitting work for an exhibition called “Freedom” at The Gallery Delta later this year and Nike is so inspiring for me… the theme of Freedom is epitomized in her outspread wings.

Helen Lieros of Gallery Delta wished a commemoration of 200 years of freedom from Turkish rule in Greece, and Nike the winged goddess celebrates that spirit. She seems to echo Helen and Derek’s strong determination to succeed in nurturing the Arts and the Humanities as they do.

Many many sketches I have done ….

and am working into larger paintings…


freedom is flight in my mind- and I sketch, then work on the folds and drapes of an installation canvas, wings taking flight…

Draped canvas wings in work


hours of stitchng and painting create layers of fire/spark marks and folds of freedom!

Stitching canvas into spreading wings, splattered with fire
My sketches form the idea

and the wings unfold, take the colours of fire

Detail of draped canvas wing

This draped canvas installation (collage?!) will take me weeks and weeks to complete-watch this space!

Another very large painting, called “Emergence”, which was painted before I began sketching the ”Winged Victory”, echoes her mood…

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

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

watch this space!

Lin Barrie Freedom
Nike … Freedom I
Winged Goddess of Victory 
Mixed media on loose canvas
140 x 90 cm

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Gonarezhou Gatherings; Sensational Sunsets

June 2021

Gonarezhou

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 art..plus 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
Posted in abstract art, adventure travel, Africa, African child, African flora, African Safari, african wildlife, anti poaching, arid areas, art, bio diversity, Birthdays, bush camps, Changana people, Chilo Gorge, Chilo Gorge Safari Lodge, chilojo cliffs, clive stockil, community conservation, conservation, cooking, ecosystem, environment, family, fishing, flowers, food, Gonarezhou Conservation Trust, gonarezhou national park, great limpopo transfrontier conservation Area, landscape, Lin Barrie Art, lions, lowveld, musical instruments, Painted Wolf Wines, rhinoceros, rhinos, Rivers, runde river, safari, safari guide, Save Valley Conservancy, sculpture, Senuko, serenity, sharing, sunset, travel, wild dogs, wilderness, wine tasting, wines, zimbabwe, Zimbabwe National Parks | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Freedom; Thoughts of Flight…

Freedom
is an elusive state
constrained
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

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…

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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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