In the south-east lowveld of Zimbabwe is the Save Valley Conservation, a nature reserve committed to improving and promoting wildlife management and conservation. It is also home to artist Lin Barrie and her life partner, Clive Stockil, recipient of The Prince William Award for Conservation in Africa, 2013. Both Barrie and Stockil are committed to the conservation of endangered wildlife and community cultures. This is where Barrie finds her inspiration for her works of art on canvas and handmade paper.
Barrie believes that the essences of a landscape, person or animal can only truly be captured by direct observation. She immerses herself in her subjects – the wheeling constellations, the moon phases of the night skies, the people, the droughts, veld fires and regenerating rains of Africa.
Biology is a passion for Barrie, but plans to enter the world of science were waylaid by the decision to pursue an artistic career. After a Fine Art Diploma in print making, sculpture and ceramics at Durban Technikon, she travelled extensively to Europe and the Far East as a textile designer, and studying Chinese brushstroke painting and Indonesian batik.
Harare News spoke to Barrie about her art work and wildlife conservation, she said “whether we are humans living in a sprawling cities, dung beetles rolling our food stores, or monumental baobab trees thousands of years old, each of us has a vital role to play as strands in the greater web of life. Diversity and linkages between people, plants and animals are insurance for the future of our earth.”
“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 of my preferred tool an old palette knife inherited from my father, to create expressive strokes,” said Barrie.
Barrie’s work is in various art collections and she collaborates with her daughter Kelli Barker, a professional makeup artist, to create exhibitions combining her canvas artworks and Barker’s body paintings.
Barrie also has a long association with Jeremy Borg of Painted Wolf Wines, a South African wine company, having done two wine labels for them. Painted Wolf Wines supports the conservation of African wild dogs and their natural habitat. Barrie also has a pottery range in association with Burnt Earth Ceramics, her range of ceramics inspired and hand painted by her of beautiful African wild dogs.
Barrie supports the local National Gallery and she contributes to their exhibitions yearly. Passionate about conservation, anti-poaching efforts by the Lowveld Rhino Trust and the Save Valley Conservancy are assisted by funding raised from sales of some of Barrie’s paintings. Her paintings also help to fund African Hunting Dog Research throughout Zimbabwe, through the African Wildlife Conservation Fund (Save Valley Conservancy and Gonarezhou), and through Painted Dog Conservation, (Hwange and Mana Pools). Barrie donates work yearly to Tusk Trust, and collaborates with Painted Wolf Wines, raising money yearly for rhinos and wild dogs in Africa.
Barrie’s upcoming exhibitions include “Lin Barrie Art Pop-Up” Paintings and Ceramics opening on the 31st March, running for one month at The Studio, Pomona, in conjunction with Industry Girls Network, Burnt Earth Ceramics, Painted Wolf Wines, and The Rugged Kitchen.
“Lin Barrie Art” solo exhibition at Borrowdale Brooke Golf Club opening on 6th April running until 6th May.
“Lin Barrie Art” will participate in a mixed art exhibition at Miombo Woodlands Art Fair, Mukuvisi Woodlands, Harare on 8 and 9th July.