Kathy Barber – Padraic Ryan – Kara Burrowes

Kathy Barber Padraic Ryan Kara Burrowes

Showing 29th May 2024 - 15th June 2024

Exhibition Information

Kathy Barber – Padraic Ryan – Kara Burrowes - Kathy Barber Padraic Ryan Kara Burrowes


       Kathy Barber


“Endless loops” follow on my solo show Peripheral at Orexart Gallery in Auckland
last year.
For many years my paintings have evoked a sense of place, but recent works are
somewhere I can’t put my finger on. Still embedded in some kind of land, there has
been a desire to widen perceptions- to challenge the viewers perception of
landscape painting. These works are derived from a montage of scratchy memories
and lands out of reach- clashed together as a type of utopia minus the end of the
These 6 small paintings exhibit a change of scale for me and as difficult as it is to go
up in scale, the same applies in producing smaller paintings. There is an editing
process that needs to occur so that they don’t become overworked and complicated.
“Endless loops” are like polaroids, where it is only possible to point and shot and
therefore we see only what the limited view allows us.
Sweeping gestures I have affectionately coined as sidewinders are pivot points in the
works. It is this action that gives a feeling of some kind of horizon through lofty voids.
Often beginning its action below eye level it drags the viewer up- blurred and rubbed
it rummages through the undergrowth tethered to seductive skies.
My focus on his kinetic gesture has its bodily limitations in large scale but in Endless
Loops the smaller scale demands restraint so the viewer can enter and wonder
within the mark making. As I lean into the action from the way it loops- it is much
derived from writing. Through the excessive repetition, words have become letters,
letters have become gestures. All reduced to a vernacular of its own- an asemic
language where there is nothing to be read, but offering up a plethora of different
There are familiar mark making, the scratchy language exists in its various states, be
it scribbled, blurred or carefully over-brushed, the meaning weaves through the
layers of colour. Early applications of a painting build a foundation and composition
through not only the accumulation of paint, but more importantly the removal of it.
Just as the paint and ideas mix, one has to sit comfortably with the other, each has to
blend so neither dominates.
The trust in my process has allowed for me to make shifts in scale, composition and
to embrace an enhanced colour palette. These paintings are my peripheral, a wider
vision of somewhere not seen.
Beyond the edge of the world there’s a space where emptiness and substance neatly
overlap, where past and future form a continuous, endless loop.
And, hovering about, there are signs no one has ever read, chords no one has ever
Haruki Murakami


         Padraic Ryan


A collection of highly contrasted, seemingly simple and abstract paintings that, in the right light,

have illustrative carvings reveal themselves within the shapes. A juxtaposition of subtle,

delicate imagery hidden within such bold, abstract forms.


         Kara Burrowes

This series looks to the concept of ‘hiraeth’; a deep longing for a place, not
necessarily a real place, but a homesickness for a place that cannot be
returned to, something missing; irretrievably lost. Hiraeth is a feeling I have
had all my life but one that I only found a concept for a few years ago.
With hiraeth is absence, a concept present in my work. Hiraeth is inherently
sad, there’s a pining and an emptiness, a wading through a place. Memories
are attached to absence, markers of what once was. They are hazy, showing
signs of erasure, partial remembering, either consciously or subconsciously.
These pared back surfaces have complex underlayers, the final surface being
‘emptied’, an attempt to entice a feeling and hold a space, complexities buried
giving way to a serene finish. Related notions like omission, extraction,
erasure, and invisibility are all concepts considered during the creation of
these works.
While Western culture often portrays emptiness negatively, Eastern
philosophies, particularly in meditation, consider emptying the mind as a path
to enlightenment. Emptiness also connects with ideas of breakdown, decay,
and the beauty inherent in imperfection and change over time, encapsulated
in the Eastern concept of wabi-sabi.
Place and placelessness, in relation to hiraeth draws questions around reality
and illusion, the familiar and unfamiliar. Sense of place feels comfortable
whereas placelessness can be confusing and disorientating. Hiraeth feels
fundamentally sad, while there is some sort of nostalgia for a place there is
also a resounding sadness that it may not have existed and can’t be returned

Full Exhibition Works

Kathy Barber – Padraic Ryan – Kara Burrowes - Kathy Barber Padraic Ryan Kara Burrowes

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