Hilary lived in Brynmawr at the Head of the Valleys in Wales for 17 years. On a Sunday morning she walked over the mountains, across fields and down valleys with her father and brother. The memories, associations and traces of the history of a place – geological or man-made – remain with her. The rugged Welsh landscape she remembers from her childhood has been destroyed, renovated and transformed throughout her lifetime: it leaves her wishing to uncover, delve and reveal her thoughts and memories through painting.
In those mountains, ancient rocks, beeches and oaks, the gushing waterfalls and dramatic weather and rushing tides, there is something about lineage and layers: a true source material which speaks of elemental cycles of birth, growth, deterioration and death. In her painting she seeks to evoke these memories, looking for poetic rhythms and echoes to make resonant statements.
Certain elements are always important and evident in her work: emotive spirit, a sense of passing time and of memory connecting with our deepest thoughts. She is naturally concerned with composition, decomposition, colour and form. She likes there to be a rhythm and depth in the painting style which draws your eyes across the surface and excites the mind, translating the energy of the subject through the physicality of mark making, gestures and colour. She aims to retain a freshness that creates openness and provokes questions.
In 2016 she moved from London to Kessingland, so her most recent paintings are the result of observing the changes in the seasons, weather, light and erosion on the local beaches and landscape of the Suffolk shore. The pull of the wide open space to the horizon excites her imagination: just as you think you’ve captured it, it’s gone… and just the memory remains.
For more information visit www.hilarybarryartist.com
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