Kathy Barber – Shadow Pieces Stephanie McEwin – My Land Cries Rivers and Jessica Ritchie – Emergence

Kathy Barber Jessica Ritchie Stephanie McEwin

Showing 4th August 2020 - 22nd August 2020

Exhibition Information

Kathy Barber – Shadow Pieces Stephanie McEwin – My Land Cries Rivers and Jessica Ritchie – Emergence - Kathy Barber Jessica Ritchie Stephanie McEwin

Kathy Barber

In 2019 I completed my work ‘Unspoken’. This painting has been pivotal in a body of work that incorporate symbols and personal imagery. I tend to think of this work as drawing- maybe due to using sumi ink as a starting point, but it is very much about painting a narrative that drifts in and out of my familiar mark making. The paintings in ‘Shadow Pieces’ are a continuation of the visceral story telling.
Scratched writing amidst icons of fear, fragility and loss are entwined like partial memories?past and present. The silhouetted black bird represents a crow waiting in the corners of life; the feather carries the spirit of a lost one and travels somewhere unknown with the promise of peace and calm. Generally acknowledged as a symbol of loss and remembrance, the cross is anchored, and weaves in and out of the mark-making.

As a child I was always drawing and large, single rose stems adorned my bedroom walls. Now, roses appear in my work as homage to my childhood; figurative in nature, they represent siblings and family. Partial roses are rubbed away; these are delicate, fragile memories, dried mementos pressed into the pages of a book. These works are deeply personal, a karanga to a life lost. I call to the past and, in doing so, create an unspoken narrative; a silent language of thought and contemplation.

The shape and action of my familiar script is both meditative and intuitive. Like the endless continuum of everyday life they weave in and around the surface. At times aggressive in nature they are scratched, rubbed, erased and repeated. I use sticks, twigs and feathers, the organic makeup of these ‘brushes’ welcome contrast to the cookie-cutter line of a No.1 brush.

Born in New Zealand in 1965, I have been influenced by Ralph Hotere and Colin McMahon. Both artists used text and imagery, utilizing landscape forms, horizon lines and colours born of the land and our Maori ancestry to produce statements both powerful, and political. These artists forged the way to create work of depth that contain lamenting undertones. I will continue to explore these darker themes and the personal, thought-provoking associations of imagery and iconography.



Stephanie McEwin

I have always dreamed that I would live in some exotic place, nurtured by my celtic roots. But life and grandchildren have resulted in me still residing here in Canterbury.
This garden of rocks and rivers, that my ancestors decided to make their home in the late 1800’s, now fuels my explorations of defining a sense of my own place.

So I have begun to pay attention to the mighty rivers and strange rocks that form these old trails, spoken of in legends, I am painting my place to stand.


Jessica Richie

My paintings are a reflection upon the art of painting itself: abstract drawing from colour, light, and music. My work is concerned with process, with the exploration of the formal qualities of painting, and of the infinite possibilities of touch with paint. Located within the context of the field of abstract painting, the term ‘abstraction’ is used in a questioning and provisional sense rather than as a categorising or labelling term; considering complexity rather than reduction. The paintings show the potential of abstract painting to communicate light and space. I am particularly interested in the discordant notion that a painting or thing might be two (or more) things at once, beautiful and grotesque, for example, or exuberant and abject.

Drawn to anything reflective, lustrous, iridescent, and saturated, my recent paintings have focussed on intensity and exuberance. On closer inspection many reveal themselves as ‘accumulations of debris’, from building up of surfaces, scraped and gathered paint, and other materials. The expressive force resides in the materiality of colour, texture, and excess.



Full Exhibition Works

Kathy Barber – Shadow Pieces Stephanie McEwin – My Land Cries Rivers and Jessica Ritchie – Emergence - Kathy Barber Jessica Ritchie Stephanie McEwin

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