Andrew Barber
Thin Atmosphere  

6 October - 4 November 2023

Two Rooms presents Thin Atmosphere, a new installation by Andrew Barber. Coromandel clay lines the wall resembling the residue of silt after the floods. The title draws upon Frank White words ‘The striking thinness of the atmosphere’ in his 1987 book of interviews with astronauts called, The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution

As these most modern colonists gaze back from their vantage orbiting the Earth, it is said they overwhelmingly report feelings of kinship to all on Earth and they see in that infinite depth of blackest space, how fragile Earth looks. This has alternately been called ‘The Overlord Effect’. Now if we head further out in space, and turn the James Webb Space Telescope or even the humble Hubble Telescope, back at Earth, they might see how the lands of earth look somewhat mathematical and homogeneous. Looking at Europe from way out there, they would see it’s sprawl of Industry, bordered by denuded unpopulated spaces, decorated with pasture and maybe a handful of species of mammals. Now looking around the globe, they can count thousands more spaces that look identical. Focusing on the lands of the South Pacific Ocean from there, they see the same décor as Europe, but from that vantage absolutely upside-down to where it was designed.
-Andrew Barber
Recent solo exhibitions include Shipwreck, Two Rooms Gallery, 2022, Folly (stone carpet), Dunedin Public Art Gallery, 2017, The small work is to the Painter, as costly as the large, Goya Curtain, Tokyo, 2017, and Earth, Wind and Fire, Knock on Wood, Peter McLeavey Gallery, Wellington, 2013. His work is held in private collections, and public collections including the National Collection at Te Papa, and the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki.