adrian barber ― mountain magic

The primal landscape of kunanyi/Mt Wellington looms large over the life of painter Adrian Barber and is the inspiration behind his upcoming exhibition.

Since his childhood lived across the globe, mountains have held a “magnetic attraction” for Adrian. In Uganda and Papua New Guinea it was the jungle-covered highlands, while the desert ranges of northern Iraq enthralled him during years spent in the Middle East: “Mountains have always symbolised possibility to me. The excitement of what is over the other side,” Adrian tells us.

Not surprisingly, when he moved to Tasmania 16 years ago, Adrian settled on a bush block at Neika nestled in the foothills of kunyani: “Every day I walk out the back door and into that incredible primal wilderness, and that feeds my art,” Adrian explains. “I feel at one with the surroundings, and especially respond to all the sculptural elements, such as the folds in the rocks.”

Adrian’s exhibition, Between the Known and the Unknown, is a homage to his mountain love and the result of two very different processes. Six large paintings – ‘The Known’ – are deliberately constructed from images collected during bushwalks.

However, much of the exhibition – ‘The Unknown’ – consists of dreamlike monochrome works that emerged during what Adrian describes as a meditative, zen-like state: “The intentions come from the storehouse of memory and from years of immersion in the Tasmanian landscape. In creating these works, the conscious mind does not force the hand and the paint must find its own path.”

Adrian Barber’s Between the Known and the Unknown exhibition runs from April 9 – 26.