Elizabeth Barry is a Napier-born artist who has recently returned home to Hawke’s Bay after living many years working as a radio broadcaster in Wellington.
Her passion for collecting driftwood began as an only child who spent spent many long hours wandering Westshore beach after school, and delighting in the many pieces of twisted wood, shells and other items she found washed up on the shore;
“Each piece of wood was part of something bigger once. A tree which once stood proud in a native forest, or something man-made like a fence, a torn-down house, discarded furniture or even an old sailing ship. Each has a story to tell.”
It is only in the past three years that Liz has found time and energy to truly explore this childhood passion for collecting driftwood and bring to life through her imagination the varied twists and shapes that the ocean and nature has wrought upon the many pieces of wood which wash up on the shores of Aotearoa.
These creations and the many hours spent combing the beach also reflect the artist’s personal journey through grief and depression. Bringing these discarded, often broken, bent and twisted pieces of wood to life echo her belief that there is life and beauty in everything around us.
It is up to us to open our eyes and see.
View Liz's work in the Small Gallery for 2 weeks, commencing Friday 8 February.
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