‘A book that cannot be read exhibition’ opens

25 Nov, 2022 - 00:11 0 Views
‘A book that cannot be read exhibition’ opens Alison Baker fielding questions in an interview.


A BOOK that cannot be read exhibition to the public last Friday at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. 

This riveting and engaging exhibition by Alison Baker, will take the viewers through a journey of human impact on wildlife and the environment. 

Last Friday, the artist offered members of the public a walkabout of the show at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. 

The National Gallery of Zimbabwe is inviting members of the public to come through and view Baker’s astonishing exhibition.

 “Come through to view this amazing exhibition at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe. We open Tuesdays-Sundays 9am-16.30pm. Admission to this exhibition is free! Don’t miss!”  the National Gallery of Zimbabwe said on their Facebook page.

Alison Baker was born in Bulawayo and from a very early age she had a deep connection to nature and the wilderness. Horses and drawing have always been an intrinsic part of her life and she could ride almost before she could walk. She has competed in many equestrian disciplines and continues to ride to this day. 

Her lifelong work in wilderness areas, her interactions with the brutal acts of humanity upon the flora and fauna of the land, have granted her deep insight into the functionary elements of the earth itself and a greater understanding of these aspects. 

Given her work in wilderness areas, she is and has been uniquely placed to muse upon the vulnerability of the world, of man and animals and the ability of the natural world to attempt to survive in the face of destruction. 

Her anti-poaching work gives her even greater insight and has resulted in her strong belief that “we, as humanity, are accountable and responsible for the survival or destruction of all species and the earth itself”. 

It has also enabled her to contemplate controversial topics such as “it is not only the poachers themselves who are to blame”. 

Incorporating her anti-poaching insights and learnings into her artwork is a fascination she has had for some time. 

“Her view is that conservation is no more than an attempt to redress the damage we ourselves have done. Animal’s deaths by snares, cars and consuming rubbish, is all by, and a result of, the human hand. 

“Her latest artworks examine not only this but also the culpability of people. She is firmly of the opinion that we have an intrinsic connection to the Earth and that the Earth is resilient, but that there are limits to tolerance and recovery,” says the National Gallery.

She notes that one wrong marking on a painting can upset the balance of the artwork. It is thus with nature. 

Sand, mud and bone are incorporated into her artworks to emphasise the beauty of decay and the limits to tolerance and recovery. 

She draws inspiration from the sculptural forms of the earth in the form of bones, dead trees and pure forms and explores the notion that despite the earth being destroyed, it always manages to heal itself — “in darkness and destruction there is always beauty”. 

Her concerns that advances in technology have made humans ignorant and arrogant, resulting in the inability to build, create, make and repair things and their way into her new artworks, as do elements relating to the illegal wildlife trade, which she considers as being in the same category as drugs and human tracking. 

Baker’s immense passion, creativity, understanding and resilience are powerfully and thought provokingly translated into her new body of artworks. She intelligently and insightfully considers our role within this world and how we can all gain lost ground by becoming more thoughtful and more conscious of our actions. — National Gallery of Zimbabwe/Suburban Reporter

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