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FROM THE LAND OF THE QUAGGA (article first published : 2007-10-21)

The next artist to exhibit at the Fresh Paint gallery in Glenwood is versatile watercolour artist, Barbara Philip, whose exhibition opens on October 24.

A resident of intimate farming community - Knapdaar – her exhibition picks up on Gallery owner Greg May’s personal theme of exploring South African art as discovered in the country’s smaller towns.

Barbara Philip’s confident and skillful work embraces a variety of genres – from the whimsical to wildlife, from detailed botanicals to sweeping landscapes. She works mostly in watercolours and occasionally oils. Her exhibition is entitled From the land of the Quagga.

Zimbabwe-born Barbara Philip moved to Durban after matriculating, to study interior design at Durban Technikon. Since childhood, art has always been an integral part of her personal and professional life. Her sketchpad was never far from her and her accomplished dexterity comes from decades of drawing everything and anything. She has been taking commissions since 1975. For much of her adult life, she and her family have lived in the Karoo countryside on a farm. Her husband, John, is a farmer, and frames all her paintings in his free time. Her oldest son, John Philip is also an accomplished artist.

“I spent three wonderful years at art school (Durban Tech, in those days) 34 years ago,” Barbara recalls. “I lived at the Res in Glenwood and walked down Davenport Road many times on the way to classes. So this is my first opportunity to exhibit in the old neighbourhood where art became my real career obsession.”

Barbara Philip has a particularly affinity with Italy and the beauty of grand Italian architecture. Although she has never been to Italy, her work speaks strongly and personally of the architectural detail and its interaction with the neighbouring countryside. Her series of views of villas, in particular, capture the romance, intricacy and distinctiveness of Italian buildings and their surrounds. Over the years, she has visited various themes. She has a series of delightful angels with resplendent wings, peachy skin and far-away-eyes. She also has an ability to draw flora with botanical accuracy, her paintings of lilies, lavender and hyacinths being accessible and precise. Her love and respect of animals is evident in her canvasses of wildlife, koi, cats, birds, sheep and cattle.

In recent years, much of her work has been displayed in cyber-galleries making it possible for her to show her work to the world while living far from the city life in beautiful rural surroundings.

Barbara Philip will be in attendance at the Fresh Paint Gallery in Glenwood on October 24 from 17h30 for the opening of the exhibition and then during the following three days (October 25 to 27) She would welcome meeting art-lovers and to chat about her work.

From the land of the Quagga runs at The Fresh Paint Gallery 60 Davenport Road in Glenwood, Durban, until November 7. More information on031 201 8367.

For more information on Barbara Philip and to peruse her works, visit www.africanpainting.com/




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