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white river, dark mountain (continued…)

Highlights from
SAC Resident Artist Adrian Barber’s
recent exhibition white river, dark mountain
at Handmark Gallery.

“This exhibition recalls two recent journeys of great significance to me: White Mountain, a five day walk in the Frenchmans Cap region and Dark River, a 10 day rafting expedition down the Franklin River.

When I stood high on the quartzite ridges and mountain slopes, staring out at a wild and untouched land, the deep river ravines called me to follow them down and so, from the ascent of the mountain, a River journey was born.

Every drop of rain that flows from these ranges drains down to the Franklin and so the Mountain sustains the River. And in their turn it has been the mountain and the river which have sustained my practice. Coming into my studio every day to work, I need only bring myself back to the walking and the rafting and then, finding myself there, I can paint.

For me, there are no words to describe the staggering beauty of this landscape, but I hope these paintings, a collection of selected memories and personal passages, recall some of its essence. This exhibition is also the story of two approaches to the painting process. The mountain work, made earlier, follows the process of building paint deliberately into a pictorial set piece.

After my journey down the Franklin River, I struggled to depict the experience through any traditional approach and so, I let go of the process and allowed the paint to make some decisions. Using a lot of water and permitting free and joyous movement of paint across the canvas I rediscovered painting as an act of faith and unconscious action. Here are creations which come from a deep unknowing, with no set beginning and no notion of ending. I feel that this process respects the river”.
Adrian Barber, 2015

Thursday 2 April – Sunday 31 May 2015
9:00am – 5:00pm weekdays

Image Credit: Adrian Barber, Walls of the Empire (2015). Acrylic on canvas. 84cm x 66cm

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