ARTIST IN FOCUS: Barbara Palmer
Mixed Media Painting-Collage
“The rough along with the smooth”
Since graduating from the North Adelaide School of Art and completing a teaching degree, I have been involved in Visual Art and Design education for 4 decades. My career consumed most of my time and while I exhibited my own work on occasion, I was more involved in curating student exhibitions. The nature of teaching required a broad knowledge of techniques, style, media and artists which has informed my own work as I explore a variety of stored ideas from my teaching years.
After retiring from teaching I was finally free to concentrate on my own art practice which I have done for the last two and a half years. I have always been attracted and motivated by the textures on the surface of an object, a living being or a landscape. For me, the surface quality can reveal the essence of the subject being observed or an intriguing contrast with its core. Indeed the history of a place can be revealed in its rugged environment or soft undulating hills.
The work for this window display focuses on the textures and colours and my reinterpretation of them, during recent travels in the Barossa Valley, Port Augusta and Pichi Richi.
While visiting Tanunda and Bethany I delved into the history of settlement which lead to the Waldhufendorf series. The Waldhufendorf (Forest farm village) developed from the regular, narrow, equal block sizes to larger areas of land and more sophisticated housing structures.
Port Augusta offered many man-made structures, particularly jetties, railways and power stations contrasted with the natural, magnificent Pichi Richi location.
My painting process is one of exploration and constant experimentation; investigating the patterns, colours and relationships found in the landscape or in the painting itself. Once an idea is formulated and the project is begun, the painting often evolves intuitively.
I have used modelling paste, acrylics, collaged photographs, found objects and drawing media to create texture and low relief on the canvas surface to convey the essence of a place.
Below: Barossa Vines, Birds, Port Augusta, Birds Detail