Elizabeth Barsham is an award-winning artist working in Tasmania, Australia's island state.
These are my paintings. Drawing on a deep emotional sense of ancestral connection to the Tasmanian landscape and its people, they are full of mysterious figures wandering through rugged mountains and impenetrable forest, crumbling buildings and rusting machinery, an unsettling but hauntingly beautiful mixture of nostalgia, gothic romanticism and humour.
I am passionate about exploring our past and protecting both the natural and built environment. My collection of old family photographs provides glimpses into the last hundred and fifty years, and I 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).
Descendants of Tasmania's first European colonists have much to admire and much to regret in their family history. There is the determination and fortitude shown by pioneering men and women enduring unimaginable hardships as they established townships, farms and industries, but there is also the cruel annihilation of an ancient civilisation and the wholesale destruction of wildlife and habitat. To this you can add lurid details of the colonial penal system as related to curious tourists.
My paintings are an attempt to reconcile these stories with contemporary sensibilities and commercial exploitation of our history and landscape.
All content on this website © E.M. Christensen contact the artist: email@example.com