artwork by Elizabeth Barsham

Tasmanian Gothic - the art of Elizabeth Barsham

cover image: Bones of the Ancestors oil on canvas; 76 cm x 152 cm

Book cover - The Caravan Moves On; © Elizabeth Barsham

Thirty years ago Tasmania's mistress of the strange held her first solo exhibition. To celebrate, she has produced a book of paintings spanning her entire career.

This brand new hard-cover book, The Caravan Moves On contains a selection of one hundred photographs of Elizabeth Barsham's stunningly beautiful paintings, with descriptive comments by the artist.


Mail order: Price $54.95 plus $15.00 postage and handling to anywhere within Australia.


Overseas customers:

Interviews with the Artist

Hannah Herrmann-Payn's short documentary - The Tasmanian Gothic of Elizabeth Barsham

youTube video


with Greg Nolan

youTube video


with The Green Widow

Necromancy Gothic Radio

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Elizabeth Barsham is an award-winning artist working in Tasmania, Australia's island state.

surreal image of mermaid, rocks and littered beach


What do you find when the tide goes out? Abandoned fishing nets are ubiquitous, and I've found pretty much everything in this painting on a seashore somewhere. Except the mermaid. I haven't found a mermaid. I really don't want to.

Mermaids are the ultimate Dangerous Women, luring poor randy little innocent sailor-boys to their doom or something. When I was in primary school we learnt a sea shanty that turns out to have been popular among sailors in the seventeenth century, if not earlier. It describes a Mermaid sitting on a rock “with a comb and a glass in her hand”, an image you can find in fourteenth century manuscripts, so it's been around for a long time.

Seeing what is happening to the oceans, I reckon these days she'd be angrier and a lot nastier than the most degenerate old salt could imagine. But what if she's moved with the times? What if she's traded her mirror for the modern symbol of vanity – the phone, and amuses herself taking selfies, sexting her victims and enthusiastically spreading mayhem and disinformation on social media?

Don't imagine for a moment that a twenty-first century mermaid is a cute, sanitised fishy Disney Princess. And really, really, hope you don't meet one when the tide goes out.

See When the Tide Goes Out and other paintings in the Dangerous Women exhibition at Nolan Gallery, Salamanca Arts Centre, Hobart. On show throughout July 2020.

If you want to hear a version of the sea shanty, here's a link





The Garden God  - detail

Gallery One: People and Places

Shane's Grassy Oppy  - detail

Gallery Two: King Island Gothic

Following the Van  - detail

Gallery Three: Haunted Landscape

Bandwagon  - detail

Gallery Four: Excursions and Adventures


acrlic painting - surreal organist

Song of the Mill, 58 cm x 41 cm acrylic on paper, was my contribution to Metamorphosis, an international exhibition at the annual Ripattoni Art Festival in Italy.

More information: Gotico Visonaria blog

After the Mine - oil painting by Elizabeth Barsham

After the Mine, oil on canvas, 91 cm x 91 cm, was a finalist in the 2015 Glover Prize, Australia's richest prize for landscape painting.

more pictures

In Hobart, Elizabeth Barsham is represented by Nolan Gallery and Nolan School of Art, adjacent to the historic Long Gallery on the first floor of 77 Salamanca Place, Hobart.
Gallery hours: Mon - Fri 10 am - 6 pm; Sat 10 am - 4 pm; Sun 12 pm - 4 pm

Art, Life and History - Elizabeth Barsham's blogs


All content on this website © E.M. Christensen     contact the artist: