'There is an intense exploration of nature, ranging from the wild beauty of coastal landscapes to the exuberant abundance of garden flowers. The floral paintings have a magnified quality which engulf the viewer. In contrast, the landscapes are panoramic, inviting contemplation rather than involvement.
The paintings start as watercolours painted in open air. The aim is to absorb the atmosphere, watch how changing light alters colours and mood, and to capture all this essential information on paper. Sometimes, only a small fragment of a watercolour becomes the basis for an oil painting. Oil studies on card help me to decide what is vital before moving on to canvas.
I work in a bold and direct way to retain freshness and energy, investigating the interplay between abstraction and representation, playing with the boundaries where completely abstract marks come together as a recognisable image. Yet, nothing is invented. The luscious textures and colours are already inherent in the actual landscape or flora. Rather than portray the obvious, the final paintings articulate a hidden presence: they are a distillation of a sense of place.'
Shona Barr graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 1988, where she was awarded the Landscape Prize and the Armour Prize for Still Life. Shona Barr continued her training at Statens Kunstakedimi in Oslo, the Winchester School of Art, Barcelona and the University of Southampton. Barr's work is held in private and corporate collections worldwide, including United Distillers, John Menzies plc, Robert Fleming Holdings and Proctor & Gamble.