Gretl Barzotto was raised in Aotearoa New Zealand and spent many years around mountains and lakes in the North and South Islands. Connection to nature in vast open landscapes is the source of inspiration for her work and the catalyst for building a cluster of barns on the outskirts of Clyde, with her Italian husband including a purpose-built studio space. Gretl responds intuitively to her environment with an experimental approach that allows her to express personal freedom; encouraging new ways of seeing the landscape and making abstract interpretations.
Careful selection of paints, papers and substrates for her works allow the fluid materials to be revealed. This artist often sources specific pigments and papers from Italy and Japan. This curiosity about materials led Gretl to a residency in Connecticut USA in 2013 to explore Nihonga (traditional Japanese mineral pigment painting) in contemporary practice. Gretl grinds Japanese inks sticks to make her own inks which, combined with her minimal approach to gesture, result in contemplative and subtle works.
Formerly trained as an Interior Designer and more recently in Visual Arts, Gretl’s understated aesthetic is evident in her work. She has been exhibiting since 2010 and has works in various collections in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and Italy. These including the Wallace Arts Trust, Distinction Dunedin Hotel, Distinction Rotorua Hotel and Private Collections.