Michael Barker : The Artist as Storyteller
Whakaaturanga Exhibition Gallery
Saturday 12 November 2022 11.00am -
Sunday 18 December 2022 3.00pm
The exhibition features a range of works in various media including oil paint on canvas, watercolour and pencil drawing as well as 'hero' props.
Works may generally be described as individual 'visual stories' with the artist acting as 'storyteller' in the traditional sense.
Subjects include epic physical landscapes rooted in such literary worlds as J.R.R.Tolkien's 'Middle-earth' and 'Te Ao Maori' as well as interpretations of myth and legend from various cultures and contexts.
Included among the works are personal studies of individuals each with their unique stories.
Visions in An Ancient Vale
Michael Barker is an artist of Tumutumu descent living on the slopes of the ancestral maunga 'Te Aroha' in the Hauraki district. Inspired by his surroundings, Barker's work is underpinned by the unshakeable philosophy 'nature is the teacher'. He specialises in using oil, pencil, pen and watercolour which has allowed an expression in a variety of textures, colour and size enabling
him to produce photo realistic effects as well as more subtle results to create landscapes, animal studies, portraits and calligraphy. Barker continues to be fascinated by the world of JRR Tolkien and fantasy and he continues to teach widely.
An award winning artist, Barker won the Doris McMiken Prize for watercolour for the painting 'Hope Rising' in 2016 and in October 2017 he was awarded the Supreme winner's prize for the same work at Watercolour New Zealand's annual exhibition.
In 2017-18 he exhibited at the Great War Exhibition in Wellington in collaboration with Peter Jackson's Wingnut group, as part of WWI commemorations.
In November/December 2020 Barker jointly exhibited at the Pataka Museum+Gallery, Porirua, with fellow Tolkien artist Daniel Reeve with the exhibition theme 'Myth and Legend'.