Moray Gallery

Barry Clarke: Meanderings

7-27 September 2019

It started when I was 11 years old and I was taken around the class to show a pastel drawing that I had done to the other pupils; it was called "a ship at sea".

These paintings of the past three years aren't necessarily about the sea but they do have elements of the sea; fish, birds, ship-like shapes and distant lands. 

My carpenter father built dinghies in his spare time and we spent time fishing on the water. I went into the British Merchant Navy at 16 as a deck boy in what was the "Indian Summer" of shipping.

I was already drawing so when I came ashore finally in 1972, I began to paint. Then in 1974 I camped in St Ives and visited the grave of Alfred Wallis the seaman painter who remains a great influence. 

In Denniston on the West Coast, high above the Tasman, I lived and painted fulltime for 4 years during the 1980s and I have continued to paint since then alongside jewellery making.

We have a bach at Kakanui and I like to scan the horizon with the binoculars, occasionally I see a container ship, the demise of British Shipping.