These pictures depict a world where all may not be what it seems. Is it a Rainforest Theme Park where eco-tourists come to gape at the Last Tree, supported by complex technologies to keep it alive, surrounded by Faithful Recreations of a Real Forest Environment? Is it a world where nature has triumphed, growing over and obscuring the works of man? Or is it something else altogether?
If there is passing similarity between my work and that of some Surrealists, it is not that they have influenced me; rather, we share the same influences - the meticulous and eerie paintings of late mediaeval and Renaissance painters such as Rogier van der Weyden, Dürer, Bosch, Altdorfer, Elsheimer and Filippo Lippi, and later painters like Poussin, Breughel and Rubens.
My pictures are multi-layered and deliberately ambiguous re-presentations of the world, executed in an illustrative style to avoid distracting the audience with layers of cultural history and artistic mystification. There is no "correct" interpretation; whatever meaning you discover will be right and valid.
The images are frequently disquieting; perhaps a bit frightening, but always intriguing and, I hope, amusing.
About Elizabeth Barsham
I grew up in Lindisfarne, attending Lindisfarne State School and Rose Bay High School, then studied art in Melbourne under Wesley Penberthy and Ming Mackay. I have had paintings hung in the Blake Prize and other major exhibitions: they have won many awards and have been acquired by Monash University and by private collectors Australia wide, as well as in Canada, UK, New Zealand, Singapore, France, Germany and Japan. I exhibits regularly and work can frequently be seen in mixed exhibitions at CAST and the Long Gallery in Hobart. You can also see recent work on my main website, www.tasmanian-gothic.com
Several years ago I returned to my old family home in Lindisfarne, and I now teach drawing and painting at Adult Education, Eastern Shore.