“Brush with the Wild”, an Exhibition of Artwork by Carol Barrett


Date: 18 February 2017 - 5 April 2017
Time: 10am - 4pm, seven days a week
Price: Free entry

The Donald Watson Gallery is thrilled to welcome back Carol Barrett and her new Exhibition of Work, entitled “Brush with the Wild”. Carol’s new collection of paintings and drawings includes the unique wildlife of Australia, as her subject after spending time on the SW coast and on Kangaroo Island, and African animals, from a recent field trip to Zambia’s South Luangwa valley.

The well-known Edinburgh-based artist was able to source a selection of natural papers from a paper workshop in Burnie, Tasmania, and has enjoyed working on wombat, kangaroo and native tree bark paper to use as a base for some of the marsupial and bird paintings. She began sketching and painting on locally made paper in the early 1990s, as a way to help support local people, when she first purchased a batch of handmade elephant dung paper in Victoria Falls. This surface continues to be one of her favourites to paint on, as she likes the fact that no two sheets are the same and the rough surface makes it ideal for capturing the texture of the elephant skin.

“Spending time out in the field gathering insight into the wildlife is invaluable and there is nothing better than being near a waterhole or river bank to have the time to sketch Carmine Bee-eater nesting, antelope and zebra herds coming down to drink, or elephant wallowing and playing in the muddy water….The anticipation of going out on a night drive can be electrifying, when there is the chance of seeing some nocturnal species and predators at work, including the elusive leopard, or patiently waiting for a glimpse of the shy Duckbilled Platypus, by a pond on Kangaroo Island, but being rewarded instead with a magical close encounter with an Echidna. Every day out in the bush, or exploring the outback, proved that nature is a wonder”. 

Carol has always loved art, natural history and in particular African wildlife, as this is one of her passions and always inspires her creativity. Her aim is to showcase the majesty of the natural world and hopefully encourage the audience to empathise and connect with the animals in her paintings and re-awaken an interest and enjoyment of these wonderful creatures and to think about their future.

Carol graduated from Edinburgh College of Art and became a wildlife artist after being the Artist in Residence for the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland in1994. She first travelled to Africa in 1990 to Kenya and has regularly returned to gain a greater understanding of her subject, visiting Botswana, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Zambia and Namibia, where she became the artist in residence at The Cheetah Conservation Fund’s Headquarters in Otjiwarongo.

Carol has completed over 500 commissions of wildlife paintings, some of which are in collections in Africa, Australia, Europe and the USA and her work has been recognised by The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation’s Wildlife Artist of the Year award on four occasions.

Carol is a committed conservationist, who supports The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, The David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, and The Cheetah Conservation Fund.

Carol’s exhibition at the centre opens on Saturday 18th February and runs until Wednesday 5th April 2017. Waterston House is open seven days a week, 10am – 4pm. Entry is free and open to all.

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