Barbara Hirst: Absorbed by Water

Alberta artist Barbara Hirst has been absorbed by water all her life.  Her fixation on reflective illusion is present in all her works, often painted in far-flung locales from Ireland to Venice.

-Liquid State, 2010

-Burano, 2011 – From a series painted in Venice

To gaze at a reflection is to witness the melting down of the physical world. Straight edges bend and dissolve on water’s surface. Colors merge and become muted, shimmer and shift, revealing a densely packed world of light and color like a thin tapestry of woven light.  – Artist Statement for Water Gazing exhibit.

-Spring, 2009

Water Gazing, 2010

Hirst’s  background includes early recognition  as a promising artist, then a prominent career in art therapy and art education which led her as far away as St.  Petersburg, Russia.  Hirst has traveled extensively in Ireland where she had an exhibition in 2008, and where she illustrated a book of Irish poetry.  Her current base is Calgary, Alberta.


Note: All images from Peter Robertson Gallery website in Calgary.  

Categories: Painting

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9 replies »

  1. I’m actually not surprised by her fascination with water. Now that I am here in Alberta after living in Vancouver for nearly a decade, Alberta by comparison, is simply drier air, drier landscape, less trees (outside of the national parks), etc. Rivers are not like the oceans at all.

    Her soul reflects thirsting for artistic inspiration through water.


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