Elizabeth Barsham (formerly painting as E.M. Christensen) is an award-winning artist working in Tasmania, Australia's island state.
Bushwalking for Beginners
An exhibition of strange and silly paintings, especially selected by Betty Nolan
Opens 6 pm Friday 8 September, 2017
Nolan Gallery and Nolan School of Art
contact gallery: phone (03) 6223 3449
To cope with life I hide away and paint stuff. Some people call me a surrealist, but the big, wide world outside is totally weird, far beyond anything I could possibly imagine. In the privacy of my studio I create places where I am in charge, rearranging things to suit myself. They might not be an improvement on reality, but they're a lot of fun.
Betty Nolan says they have "a merry tongue in cheek ghoulishness”. Do come along and see whether you agree with her.
Elizabeth's uniquely imaginative oil paintings are an emotional expression of her ancestral connection to the landscape and its people. Often based on old family photographs, they feature mysterious figures against a backdrop of rugged mountains, impenetrable forest and crumbling buildings in an unsettling but hauntingly beautiful mixture of nostalgia, gothic romanticism and humour.
A descendant of the first convict settlers, she has also written several books and articles about Tasmanian family history and was the first Tasmanian to publish a book about a convict ancestor (Thomas Burbury, Pioneer of Tasmania by E.M. Christensen and W. Sinclair, Victoria, 1979).
Barsham does not dwell on lurid details of the colonial penal system but admires the determination and fortitude shown by pioneering men and women who endured terrible hardships in creating the townships, farms and industries enjoyed today. She is passionate about the need to explore and record what traces remain of their lives, while protecting both the natural and built environment.
All content on this website © E.M. Christensen contact the artist: firstname.lastname@example.org