OUT OF KILTER
“When the world’s balance spins out of kilter, so too are the works which spill from the easel“.
Oil on linen, 1200 x 1400 mm, 2021
Out of Kilter
At the time of making, I often feel separate from the work, trusting and allowing the process to unfold, not always knowing exactly what is being said, but once complete and on reflection, a narrative reveals itself. To me, this is the creative process at its best.
‘Out of Kilter’ is a body of work which reflect what Covid ‘19 threw us into. There is a feeling of unsettled turmoil and intersecting ideas which formulate a collection of works as opposed to a series of similar themed works. While we couldn’t be in a more grounded country to endure such a pandemic, nevertheless, we weren’t quite sure what the future would hold. This imbalance pushed and pulled the work yet somehow managed to symbolize an image set depicting personal reflection, historical meanderings and a subtle reminder that those we hold dear are everything.
“In their masterly display of the beauties of the natural world Liam Barr’s paintings strike a deeper more disturbing note as we contemplate them. For example, in ‘An Ordinary Gesture’ a man stands knee deep in water signalling to us ambiguously, presenting a quandary; is he saying ‘hello’ or ‘goodbye’. Barr has considered the work carefully and it demands reflection not just a quick look. There is no clear narrative – no one meaning. He seems to capture some of the uncertainty of the post Covid world in which there is confusion and fear. In ‘Windshift’ the boy seated on a sheep has a backdrop of the Te Henga shoreline and looks towards the approaching storm and weighs his options, as Barr writes in his notes. For both young and old these are parlous times and the new paintings shown in ‘Out of Kilter’ capture the psychological stress of the situation.”