Sunday, December 31, 2017

Ten for 2017

Looking back over a year of one's art can often be surprising. In December it is hard to remember what one was doing in January. Over the last few years Fiona and I have attempted to capture the past year by choosing 10 art things that, for us as individuals, stood out a bit. The ten I share in this blog post are not in chronological order nor are they in some hierarchy - they are markers for me.

A standout was the creation and sharing of 210 peace leaves in recognition of International Peace Day 2017. Not only was it a fairly big effort; but I was blown away by the generosity, sense of community, dedication and inventiveness of the 21 people who accepted 10 leaves each to gift on to promote peace both in Australia and many overseas places.

©2017 Barry Smith - 210 Peace Leaves for International Peace Day 2017
An almost inconsequential thing in 2017 has been continuing my iPhoneography on Wednesday post. I continue to love capturing the beauty of nature which uplifts me; and hopefully a few other folk.

©2017 Barry Smith - Pure droplets of mist caught on a tiny web and lichen
The Buttress Root sculpture took a heap of my time this year. Construction started in April; installation and alteration occurred in June-July; and official opening took place in December. I'm proud of this piece of placemaking art that seems to be part of the landscape. There has been a lot of very positive feedback.

©2017 Barry Smith - Buttress Root poetry trail sculpture at Little Yabba Creek
I entered the Goondiwindi and Blackall art shows again this year. I won a prize at Goondiwindi and my work, School of Funky Fish, was purchased. I enjoy the quirky nature of the funky fish.

©2017 Barry Smith - School of Funky Fish
I continued to make work for a couple of shops: Maleny Additions and Entangle (Dayboro). Maleny Additions continues to sell quite a lot of my ladles, leaf spoons, leaf pate knives and leaf tea caddy spoons. Entangle sell quite a number of my Artisan Lamps. A good outcome for the shops and myself.

©2017 Barry Smith - Tea Caddy Leaf-spoons with Fiona's swing tags for Maleny Additions
©2017 Barry Smith - One of many Artisan Lamps for Entangle
In July-August I finished and installed a five post sculpture in a small courtyard - a private commission. The work honoured the memory of a dear dead friend of the people who commissioned the work.
©2017 Barry Smith - Installation of 5 posts with etched aluminium plates - water and snake motifs
One thing I always wanted to do was to work with Fiona to create some large etched aluminium freestanding peace books. We worked together on their creation; and also the installation near the bridge across the rock river in our backyard.

©2017 Barry Smith - Peace Books sculpture on our block
The Peace Books installation ignited my desire to create more sculptures for the block. I made and we installed a couple of sculptures where I was able to use a large number of copper soldering irons that had been gathering dust in the garage-studio. The block is beginning to have a more nurtured look about it.

©2017 Barry Smith - Large soldering and branding iron sculpture near the rock river - great perch for birds
Fiona and I visited Krakow for the first time this year. Visiting Auschwitz was very difficult - such obvious and systematic inhumane brutality - but it confirmed the need to continue to work for peace. It was fortunate that after the visit Fiona and I walked many streets of the older area of Krakow; and we were uplifted by art - including art on the walls in the old Jewish quarter. It reminded me of the gentle restorative power of some art.

©2017 Barry Smith - Faded bird art on a wall in Krakow
Metal called me again this year. I was inspired to return to the hammering out of vessels. Sometimes refining some of my simple designs; and sometimes reforming or repurposing existing shapes found in the process of salvaging silver-plated copper, EPNS and brass.

©2017 Barry Smith - Tiny hammered form - recycled silver-plated object 
©2017 Barry Smith - Small Fungi Form vessels - recycled silver-plated metal from old drink trays
Though the year was hard in patches, including dealing with the death of a good friend, art and an art life shared with Fiona helps pull one through the tough and sad times.


  1. A great set of work from 2017, looking forward to seeing what happens next. Wishing you a happy, peaceful and creative 2018

  2. Barry, thank you for this wrap up of your year.

  3. I appreciate how hard you must work to produce your art. Thank you for sharing it. Have a Good are probably already in it!

  4. Happy New Year.

    I wish You all the best.
    Greeting and hug.

    JST 01.01.2018, From Japan, ruma ❃

  5. Such a wonderful collection of art, Barry, always good to see the varied ways in which you find expression for your vision - thanks for all the inspiration and your wonderful generosity! Wishing you and Fiona a good, creative year!

  6. (((Barry))) with a clink of coffee cup to the screen a toast to you & Fiona, to more art and wonder and peace and love finding the way!


Comments are welcomed - it is good to connect with fellow travellers.