Liam Barr

“(…) Barr’s current practice continues its search to define the New Zealand experience expressed in a series of narrative paintings depicting stories of whalers, sailors and early pioneering visitors to this land. Images draw reference from the fictitious to the subjectively factual, weaving stories punctuated with symbolism and iconography to lay bare the stoicism and foibles of a fledgling colonial psyche rapidly assembling through historical events. Whilst referencing a mood of 19th and early 20th century artworks, Barr’s paintings reinterpret and imbue the romantic essence of the historical context in a contemporary fashion, offering an altogether alternative view. Once again, irony and satire are employed to embellish and dramatise the narrative whilst the richness and subtlety of the ‘fine art oil painter’ draws us in to the atmosphere of the era, complete with moody landscapes and deep dark timber frames.(…)”

Between the Devil and the Deep
John Rutherford b.1796 – A blemished story of an English sailor and sole survivor of the captured American brig Agnes which put in at Tokomaru, Bay of Islands. Surviving for 10 years with local Maori, the “White New Zealander” finally makes his escape. The ta moko given him is an apt addition to the ink stained map of his life and stands testament to his experience, connecting him forever more to Aotearoa.

Faethm stands her watch in solitary grace, heart of oak and knowing. Jack Tar, a mate ’til her last gasp, will keep her ember glowing, For many a salty has come to pass with all the seeds for sowing. These days she casts a full arms length, to spare the to and fro’ing.

The simplicity of a beach holiday where ‘being’ is the core experience. Smell, sound taste and images permeate our psyche and we feel content, connected and accepting of the earth in all its temperaments.

.22 Calibre Historian
‘What’s shot’s history; what’s missed’s mystery.’ – The wholesale harvesting of NZ fauna to feed museums & collections has brought about devastating effect to our most treasured bird species. Here, the boy covets his freakish trophy, crippled by indifference, he fails to see the irony.

Buller’s Birds (Avaritia non habet legem)
Buller o’ Buller, what corrupted you so. You killed our poor birds for what I don’t know. Was money the drive for the thousands you killed or the kick you recieved from the blood that you spilled. In one way we thank you for the books you made but the price was too high and for that we have paid.

The Rescue of Miss Dorothy Hohepa
Influence from afar entice us and beliefs must be protected. Friendships are based on loyalty and with that comes unity, strength and resolve. Without these binding forces the bond weakens and we become brittle & disparate.

via Andreea Cioran