Claus Barrabas: Works on Paper

Andrea Haberer: Works on Paper

3 November - 8 December 2002


Claus Barrabas

Born in Vienna, where he also studied, Claus Barrabas has travelled and exhibited extensively. He now lives in Bendigo. This exhibition brings together a group of his works on paper.

Claus Barrabas: Space Tourists 2000


Andrea Haberer

Andrea Haberer was born in Germany and now works in Elphinstone. She has developed her own techniques in charcoal and pastel, seen here mainly in masks and portraits. Her techniques are based on years of composing patterned abstract miniatures in coloured pencil. The transition to stylised figurative drawing occurred when she chanced upon some sticks of 38 year old charcoal.

Exhibition Statement by the Artist

I can only draw what is not.

Sometimes a face that I see only briefly sticks in my memory. I can draw that, but if the person were sitting in front of me I could not draw their portrait at all.

Instead of relying on the short-term memory which most figurative artists draw upon, between glances at the subject before them, I draw from deep memory. But both they and I do draw from memory.

Deep memories contain faint recollections of people often known very well in the past, but the memory of them has become transformed in the meantime into one of their inner essence. The features which appear in their portraits then become a means of expressing their inner being. I am always surprised when they are actually recognized in the pictures, by themselves or their friends.

What seems to drive me to portraits in particular is that by nature I am a total recluse and have withdrawn more and more from people as I've grown older.

The charcoal drawings come from nowhere, and only my hand knows what it is up to. First I dirty the paper, and then I see what I can find

I have included a lot of pastels, some of which are drawn from a translucent bin containing piled-up dirty laundry. Inevitably pictures appear, through the contribution of different colours and patterns-no longer dirty laundry but fit to be shown in public. At least I hope so.

The point is that they are not inventions, but deeply internalized images like my portraits, that insist on being recognized.

In the same way, some of my portraits are of people I would swear I have never even glimpsed. And yet they have insisted on visiting me as if my reclusiveness is powerless to keep everyone at a distance.

What I find especially curious about this work based on dirty laundry - in a translucent bin - is that in fact it reflects themes in my life and inner being. Why else would so many faces and masks appear?

Masks: Aren't they what people hide behind? Faces: Aren't they what masks hide? Dreams: Aren't they what we try to hide from, masked by the code of imagery?

And, like dreams, these images all appear unbidden, of their own accord.

Copyright © Andrea Haberer, Elphinstone, 2002.


Andrea Haberer: Othello 1999