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Artists join forces for Earth Songs



8 Mar, 2023


thumbnail Robert Looker and Linda Gilbert close copy-989Artists Linda Gilbert and Robert Looker have joined forces to present ‘Earth Songs’, a show that relates to particular places that have touched their lives and inspired them.

Linda’s abstract acrylic paintings speak about the energy she feels from the earth in the Kaipara District. Robert’s oil paintings are responses to Seychelles, off the coast of North Africa, where his wife hails from.

“My painting is inspired by the energy I feel from the earth and my surroundings. The paintings I present in ‘Earth Songs’ include works made in 2020 after I had moved to the Kaipara District. Covid 19 had just hit,” says Linda. “In this new place, during this strange time, I was looking at and feeling into the natural world. The Earth provided comfort and inspiration.”

“These abstract paintings speak of the magic of natural phenomena when looked at afresh. They consider the green hues in the Kaipara landscape, neon pinks and oranges of a sunrise or sunset, the charm of rainbows and auroras – colours and energies of the Earth and its atmosphere.”

“My paintings give form to unseen energies that swirl around us. Through a lively mix of intuition and science I respond to push and pull energies that I sense through my body. These intuitive feelings are supported by science relating to geology, senses and perception, and consciousness.”

“These works ask you to slow down and wonder,” says Linda. “The mundane becomes magical, raising questions about patterns of the universe, interconnectedness and unknowability.”

Robert Looker’s paintings explore themes of home and belonging, and our presence in the landscape. His painting is described as abstract expressionist with recurring symbols. Robert mostly paints ‘in the moment’, often approaching a painting without any preconceived vision – just a recollection of a place, event or time.

“This series of paintings came about after our journey to my wife’s homeland, Seychelles, and her search for land that she owns but had never seen,” says Robert.

“Imagine this if you can: an ancient paradise of magic and mystery, the world’s oldest granitic islands covered in dense tropical forests and biblical gardens above pure white sandy beaches and azure blue lagoons.

“These paintings have never been exhibited before. They tell a personal story of discovery while also addressing the meaning of home, place and belonging in the world today. I’ve tried to capture the oppressive tropical light that shatters the patterns of the lush forests, and the surreal colours of granite columns that rise from the crystal waters and contrast against the cerulean blue skies,” says Robert.

n ‘Earth Songs’ opens at 6pm Thursday March 16 at the Mangawhai Artists Gallery, 45 Moir Street, and is then open daily, 10am to 3pm until midday Wednesday March 30.


Both Linda Gilbert and Robert Looker draw energy and inspiration from the Earth or landscape for their art. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

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