The past year has been a busy one for artist Gretl Barzotto as she and her husband moved to Central Otago permanently and have started building an art studio on their McArthur Ridge property.
Her focus has been on embracing the area she now calls home, and a collection of her curated works made during those 12 months makes up her solo exhibition, “Reflections”, which opened at Eade Gallery, Clyde, at the weekend.
She said the exhibition’s title is a reference to reflecting light, as she captures the colours, mood and atmospheric light reflected off the Clutha River; the results of her memories and perceptions prompted by walking beside the river; and her inner reflection on events during the past year.
“I go out on my walks and take photos and that’s when I do my thinking, then I go back to the studio and do the work,” she said.
The couple bought their Alexandra property about six years ago and built in 2018, after which they sold their house in Auckland and bought a small apartment there, with the dream of moving to Central Otago at some stage.
“Last year, the way the cards drew out, the big lockdown in Auckland happened and we didn’t really go back,” Barzotto said.
She said in that time, she had moved from a macro view to a micro, both in terms of living here and her work.
The exhibition includes small works and shelf pieces in addition to her larger canvases, incorporating handmade paper and found items in her art, and ceramics by Earnscleugh artist Kathi McLean in her displays.
She said her work is eclectic in how she represents the landscape but had linkages to the same thing
“You can never capture this landscape in a painting canvas is just not big enough.”