Barry Cleavin

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1939

Alcatraz No 11

  • 1983
  • Ink
  • Presented by the Friends of the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, 1984
  • 540 x 755mm
  • 84/07

In its capacity to be experimental territory, drawing offers a space where different states of mind can be explored. Each of the artists here has taken the practice beyond the realm of obvious observation or recording into something more internal, psychological and uncertain.

Barry Cleavin’s meticulous drawings – made following a visit to the infamous abandoned federal prison on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco – were originally intended as studies for etchings, but were then recognised as more than complete in themselves. Their spectacular delicacy and precision contrast with their darker resonance and connection to collective damage and despair.

(Die Cuts and Derivations, 11 March – 2 July 2023)

Exhibition History