Presented by Art Weaves at Gallery Manora, Bangalore, India
20 January – 19 February, 2017

Gondwana Horizon is an installation of works on three specific themes which, when seen together, evoke a much larger whole. There’s a range of rugged, angular objects Campbell-Allen has called Fossil Rocks – sharp, bright and expressive forms that bring to mind the dry desert watercourses, long-forgotten, where fossils might be found. Bearing the marks of cutting and tearing, the forces that shaped them, these are fully three-dimensional works that can be turned and explored from any side.

In contrast, there’s the Cloud Series, comprised of softer, barely swelling forms that seem to disappear at the edges. These larger, lighter works have a gentle, painterly finish that reflects soft nuances of colour.

Then there’s the Old River Series, which tells a progressive tale. It starts with full, rounded forms that are awash with detail, as if whole braided river systems are moving across them. Following these, and running the course of all river systems where the water slows and spreads, there are River Reed works, which remind us of billabongs surrounded by tall grasses that bend in the breeze. Finally, we come across smooth, dark red forms that resemble the rocks in a river that have been worn by water and time. These vessels capture a sense of stillness, creating a kind of full-stop that informs us that the journey down the river is complete.

In Barbara Campbell-Allen’s able hands, the power and integrity of the environments she has drawn on for inspiration can be felt in the forms she has made and the expressive detail she has coaxed from her kiln. It’s as if these objects have somehow condensed the vast landscapes of Australia within their modest boundaries, creating microcosms that still manage to contain all that space and all those harsh forces of nature within them. This is an art of compression. Look closely and Gondwana Horizon brings those unimaginable expanses of outback Australian land and sky within intimate touch.

Jan Howlin BVA (Hons I), MFA

Photos: Greg Piper

Barbara Campbell-Allen - Gondwanna Horizons

Gondwana Horizon from Art Weaves on Vimeo.