Author: Christine Richard OBE FRSA

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Monday, August 8th, 2016 at 10:08 am
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Barbara Rae’s Return Journey

This prolific, colourful artist has created her work through world-wide travels and inspired by the history of land – both agricultural and industrial, often incorporating both. Barbara Rae CBE RA is currently showing a selection of her work entitled ‘Return Journey’ at the Open Eye Gallery’s Festival Exhibition.

I caught up with her at the Private View and discovered that this lady is quick-witted and fun. I particularly liked her remark ‘too much is not enough’ – whilst said in a light-hearted fashion there is behind it the kind of personality which does not give up and is certainly not in any way self-satisfied. People were literally queuing up to speak with her.

BR2Her family is important to her, and painting is her full-time occupation but, Barbara told me her professional life and her private life are completely separate entities. She believes her paintings (many using acrylic paint and mixed media) tell stories of the times and places captured permanently and exhibited widely.

Particularly of interest is her insistence on the ‘mastery of drawing before venturing into abstraction’. These are her words and the concept has its roots in the training she received at the College of Art in Edinburgh. This essential element is evident in the works and gives an intensely poetic patchwork, visual style conveying the ruggedness of life’s daily struggles, wherever in the world she has visited and which are part of daily life.

BR3One cannot fail to be almost dazzled by the brilliant colours of some works, contrasting with more sombre, almost monochromatic industrial scenes, which whilst quite bleak are very evocative.

The Open Eye Gallery is at 34 Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, EH3 6QE. Opening times are Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 4pm.

Showing until 31st August.


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