The paintings in this exhibition originate from a number of different sources. Nevertheless the works share a common set of principles, connected by technique and vision. They are indeed ‘fragments’ of my imagination.
The two centre-pieces are free standing bifold screen, each a montage of images. One of ‘sea shells’ the other of ‘ships’. The precision of these nautical forms contrasts with a visually chaotic foundation of sedimentation of the artist’s pigments, ultramarine blue and burnt umber.
The reverse sides of the screens are covered with beautiful Fortuny designs from the original fabric screen printing studio on the island of the Giudecca in Venice. One of the designs is called ‘Maori’.
The four ‘shed’ paintings are based on location sketches, made in New Zealand and British Columbia. These works are carefully designed, depending on the near invisible phenomenon of perspective, and architectural precision.
The idea for the ‘skyscapes' occurred to me after my first flight in a Boeing Dreamliner over the considerable breadth of Canada. I marveled at the shapes and colors of the long summer evening clouds.
I find clouds as challenging to paint as the reflective surfaces of water and glass. Volumes and spaces, soft and sharp edges are essential components of these vaporous compositions.
Even with years of practice painting has never become easy. I cannot say how long it takes to do a specific painting. The duration varies. Some paintings demand more time than others, but for me all share an element of chance or risk. Each is but a ‘fragment’, a fixed format, a visual patch of life passing by.
David Barker, January 2017
28 Clarence Street, Devonport, Auckland, New Zealand
Opening Saturday, 25 March 2017
Closing Thursday, 12 April 2017
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