Liam Barr (b.1966 Scotland), emigrated to New Zealand with his family (1974) growing up in Banks Peninsula. Fremantle became home base in Liam’s 20’s and 30’s where he trained and worked in graphic design before steering toward fine art. After the success of his first solo show (2003) Liam’s aspiration to further develop his practice led him home, (2004) where he and family reside in Wellington’s, Island Bay. The exploration of folk, circumstance and the foibles of experiential mankind is at the essence of Liam’s work and he continues to define this experience expressed through meticulous attention to form and structure within the development of his subjects. Images draw reference from fiction to subjective fact, weaving stories punctuated with symbolism and iconography imparting a romantic, historical essence dripping with nostalgia contextualized in a contemporary fashion. Liam’s current works again bite into new territory as he transitions toward a more contemporary image set. These large works display a cohesive central theme though stripped back in terms of colour palette, geographical location and other embellishments of previous offerings. There seems an intent to reach out to a spiritual connectedness inherent within the forgotten DNA strands of essential mankind.
The show titled ‘Avian’ (showing April 2016) explores our relationship to the avian species of N.Z. and alludes to similarities in character traits or circumstance suggesting a bi-nature effect. The images reflect physical alterations and adornments we commit our bodies to through practices such as piercing, scarification, tattoo and implants. Figures suspend from perching hoops to maintain altitude revealing the physical restrictions we face as earth bound bipeds. Looking will only get you half way there, one must reach inside themselves to connect wholly with their meaning.
This is a sample of his work
All images © Liam Barr