CityLife Arts

Fine artist Lin Barrie brings wildlife into people’s homes through her paintings

By Edward Tsumele

Wild animals have throughout history been both friends and foes, such as predators sometimes causing physical harm to human in encounters, and at other times human beings hunting down animals for a myriad of reasons, ranging from desiring their meat for consumption, for commercial exploitation and as a way to demonstrates  so called heroic deeds, such as for trophy hunting. Sometimes they simply become territorial rivals, human beings simply preferring not to share the natural resources with their wild counterparts.

It is therefore not something that fulfils’ one’s curiosity to hear of an artist whose work is about the wild animals, showing love to them. And yet Lin Barrie, is not only a wild life painter, but she and her partner are conservationists in Eastern Zimbabwe where they run a successful wildlife conservancy.

Being both a writer and painter, she often puts her talents in the services of wild animals, such as her current online exhibition with Johannesburg based gallery Cherrie De Villiers. The gallery itself has changed locations over the years. For example as late as 2011, this fine art gallery was based in the Rosebank Mall, where I used to be a regular visitor. In recent years, as late as 2019, just before Covid-19 struck, the gallery called the upmarket Hyde Park Corner home. And with Covid-in our midst, the gallery has closed shop for its physical space there, and has gone online.

And so for those who would like to have a dip into the art of Barrie’s Wild  exhibition,, they can do so online.

The artist Lin Barrie Born in Zimbabwe, Lin now lives in the south east wilderness of Zimbabwe. Plans to enter the world of biology were superseded by the decision to pursue an artistic career! After gaining a Fine Art Diploma at Durban Art College in 1980, Lin worked as a textile designer, travelling to Europe and the Far East. In 1991, she returned to Zimbabwe and became a full-time fine artist. Barrie believes that the essence of a subject should be captured by direct observation, which can only then become meaningful abstraction. Ecosystems are her main inspiration, whether skulls, African wild dogs, cultural dancers or landscapes. She states,

“I feel an intimate connection with the natural world. From field and life drawings, I create works using handmade charcoal, acrylics and oil pastels. I enjoy the immediacy of a treasured old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes”. 

Lin’s art is in private collections worldwide. She supports conservation organizations such as Tusk Trust UK to raise funding and awareness for endangered species and community conservation.

Her work that is on exhibition is suitable for having in your homes as the body of work is akin to bringing wildlife into one’s home from the wild, and for those interested in sharing their homes with our wild cousins, it is perhaps not a bad idea to visit this online exhibition as you might find what you like.

Certainly, while it is often to share physical space with wild animals, Lin’s animals are worth sharing your intimate space with, and believe you me, they are not hostile with their often infamous predatory instincts.

.To see Lin Barrie’s Wild exhibition go to www.gallery.co.za

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