Two Tui - Framed
Limited Edition Print by Liam Barr
61cm x 45.5cm
Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm - 100% cotton Rag
Edition of 50
Within the land you will find people on it. How we respond, embrace and interact with this land holds fascination for me. The ecosystem is intrinsically linked to our survival and with that, we need to preserve it. We underestimate its fragility in suffocating ambivalence, knowing, yet unable to make the required effort toward preservation and nurture. My work seeks to form a connection between the land and those who live upon it. Each is a contemplation of thought, mindfulness and a tale of ones place within.
Liam Barr (b. Scotland 1966) immigrated to New Zealand with family (1974). Travelling in his 20’s, Barr settled in Perth, WA, where he trained and worked as a graphic designer before returning to New Zealand (2004) to further develop his art practice. The exploration of folk, history and the peculiarities therein is at the essence of Barr's work and he continues to define this experience expressed through meticulous attention to form and structure within the development of his subjects.
His work depict all manner of situations and character types, from his early magic surrealist pieces 'Adrift' to the tiki inspired works 'Hei Tiki-Hi Mate' / 'GrandLand' to the pioneer themed works of 'Pakeha' / 'Lore & Behold'. Images draw reference from fiction to subjective fact, weaving stories punctuated with symbolism, iconography, humour and pathos.
'Tethered' (2018) is Barr's most recent show, he states I have always been drawn to the horse, perhaps because I was born in the year of the horse or perhaps it’s just their sheer magnificence. This beast known for its athleticism, strength and intelligence is emblematic of all that is majestic, free and pure. In this series of portraits, I am exploring the idea of taking these statuesque and by nature ‘free’ beasts from their natural environment and placing them within our own domestic worlds as ‘things we own’. Alongside this and underneath much of my work I am interested in human longing and the multivarious ways that can play out.
Barr's paintings have been shown in public exhibitions - 'Scape' Whakatane Art Museum, 'Tears For Tane's Children' Whangarei Art Museum and 'Mind Games, An Exhibition of Surrealism in Aotearoa' Hastings City Art Gallery. Commissions from Dame Suzie Moncrieff (World of Wearable Arts) and NZ Defence Force Veteran Services commissioned Liam to create a painting commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice where he accompanied 30 veterans and personnel to South Korea. His painting became part of the NZDF art collection.