Sandra Barlow's City Series - Hamilton
The Welcome Swallow Gallery is proud to be the location of Sandra Barlow's City Series that explores the identity of New Zealand's five largest cities. Previously displayed and sold in the gallery, Auckland and Dunedin have now been joined by the Hamilton composition, from the Winter Bright exhibition, sold appropriately to a local collector and major supporter of the arts community.
Once the Wellington and Christchurch compositions have passed through the gallery into private ownership, all five will be brought back to the gallery from their private collections to be displayed for the first and only time together.
Like all artists I am attracted to many genres and methods. I reflect on the feel of Don Binney and the moderne senses of Rita Angus. For this composition, I wanted to capture the essence of Hamilton, to be within grasp with a simple glance without reference to location, geography, or perspective. To create this effect, I heavily stylized the buildings that do not especially interact with the main feature of the city – the Waikato river. In simple terms, despite many attempts, the city has never truly interacted with the mighty river. Hence the title Awa Crossing. That we cross the river rather than utilise it, is captured by the lone black truck on Victoria bridge. The vantage point of the composition is elevated beyond human sight. Verdant vegetation, resplendent of the Waikato region is the key feature that plays into the running river. As yellow is the first colour that is picked up by the retina, the building towards the centre pulls the imagery to the back of the painting providing depth to the composition.
Oil on Board 600x500mm