In the south east of Zimbabwe, Africa, lies the Save Valley Conservancy, (SVC), a wildlife reserve of nearly one million acres. A semi-arid wilderness of spectacular granite kopjies, golden savannah, ancient leadwood forests and monolithic baobab trees, this tantalizing territory is home to endangered Black and White rhinos, African hunting dogs, elephants, buffalo, lion and a host of other species. As an annex to the Greater Limpopo Transfrontier Conservation Area (GLTFCA) which comprises Kruger National Park, Limpopo Park and Gonarezhou National Park, this lowveld area is also home to artist Lin Barrie and her life partner, Clive Stockil. Lin and Clive share each others lives and are committed to the conservation of eco-systems, endangered wildlife, and community livelihoods and cultures.
Expressing herself with found objects, palette knife and paintbrush, Lin Barrie believes that the abstract essence of a landscape, person or animal can only truly be captured by direct observation. She immerses herself in her subjects, whether observing African night skies, sketching rhinos drinking at a favourite waterhole, watching African wild dogs and their pups, or capturing the mood of an abstract landscape or traditional dance…
She is fascinated by the synergies between elements of landscape, people and animals, such as the flow of water which becomes fish, the texture of baobab skin which so closely resembles that of elephants’ limbs, the shapes of monumental rock outcrops which take human or animal forms, plants which echo human parts, animal totems and people….
Lin says, “Whether we are humans living in sprawling cities or traditional villages, or dung beetles rolling our food stores; whether we are monumental baobab trees thousands of years old or whales birthing our young in cold currents; each of us has a vital role to play as strands of the greater web of life. Diversity and linkages between people, plants, animals and their environment are insurance for the future of our earth.”
She states: “I feel an intimate connection with the natural world, and I love travelling to the wilderness outposts of our world. From my field sketches I create works on canvas, using oils and acrylics. I enjoy the immediacy and abstract quality of my preferred tool-a treasured old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes. In the field, pencil, oil pastel or charcoal sketches are my first step. I love the intense colour, the smell and the sumptuous texture of oil paint, but I often use acrylic, oil bar and mixed media as I find these are perfect mediums to do quick sketches in situ, in the field. When I have to travel with my paintings, between bush camps, acrylic is practical as it dries fast.”
Biology was a passion for Lin during her school years. Plans to enter the world of science were superseded only by the radical decision to pursue the lonely path of an artistic career! After completing a Fine Art Diploma in print making at Durban Technikon in 1980, she gained experience as a textile designer, travelling extensively to Europe and the Far East for business and pleasure. In 1991 Lin returned to Zimbabwe from Singapore, having completing courses in Chinese brushstroke painting and Indonesian batik.
Lin Barrie’s work is in various collections worldwide.
Part proceeds from her artworks benefit the conservation/community initiatives that she and Clive support, such as Save Valley Conservancy, Tusk Trust UK, African Wildlife Conservation Fund, Painted Dog Conservation, Painted Wolf Foundation, Painted Wolf Wines,Tikki Hywood Trust, Miracle Missions wetlands initiative and Birdlife Zimbabwe.
Lin collaborates with her daughter Kelli Barker, a professional Make Up Artist, to create exhibitions combining her canvas artworks and Kelli’s body paintings.
Lin Barrie contact:
Lin and Clive