|A House & The Bush
acrylic on canvas, green wooden house, plastic shelf. 1200 x 600 x 790 mm, 2001. Photo: Helen Mitchell
|A House and the City
Paintings and installation by Barbara Strathdee
Idiom Studio, Wellington, 20 September 14 October. Click here to see more exhibition images.
A tiny alpine village in northern Italy is an inspiration behind Wellington artist Barbara Strathdees exhibition at Idiom Studio.
Since the 1960s Barbara has lived and worked in Italy as well as in New Zealand, and has held more than 30 solo exhibitions in both countries. Te Papa, Victoria University and many other public collections hold examples of her paintings, and she contributed to the recent Parihaka exhibition at Wellingtons City Gallery.
In 1994 Barbara was invited to work in Topolo, an almost abandoned village in the hills above Venice, on the border between Italy and Slovenia. The local poet Moreno Miorelli has organised an international arts festival in Topolo every year since, and it is now a thriving and widely known venue for arts tourism.
In 2001 year Barbara produced a small outdoor installation among the old stone farmhouses in the village. Elements of that installation reappeared in her latest solo exhibition at Idiom, A House and the City.
Boxy little wooden houses painted in emphatic flat colours are positioned in front of Barbaras large canvases of bush, garden and urban settings. The show also includes photograph works of Topolo, and of shelters made of materials from the New Zealand bush.
"The exhibition draws on my memories of tramping huts and bush bivouacs, on images of settlers tents, and on more conventional houses and the way they seem planted in the local landscape."
Barbara held a solo exhibition in 2002 at the City Gallery and says, "this also dealt with minimal shelter and how occupants transcend its limitations." K
Visit Barbara's website: www.barbarastrathdee.co.nz to see more of Barbara's work