Harry was born in a small Hampshire village. His family were builders and each summer he worked as a labourer, but, as something of a surprise to all, he also showed great promise as an artist. Following a short and confusing spell at art school, he moved to the city of Bristol to study fashion and textile design. This led to the establishment of a successful clothing business, but he gradually became disillusioned with metropolitan life and longed to return to his first love – painting.
Having decamped to Somerset, he set about creating an extraordinary cast of characters remembered from childhood. By reclaiming and reinventing them, Harry breathed new life into these old friends. Cute? Maybe, but seldom completely cuddly.
Drawing from folksy artisan low art rather than urban intellectual high art, his work attempts to connect directly with the public, circumventing the vagaries of the art world. A collaboration with Bristol’s screen printing gurus, Screen One, who have also worked with Banksy and Nick Walker, introduced a more graphic element to his mixed media pieces, giving them a unique, slightly unnerving edge, drawing comparisons with both Beatrix Potter and Stanley Kubrick!
The current Happy Year series has a lighter touch, being an ode to a country childhood, but scratch the surface and you will find a sadness there, and maybe even a little anger, at a lost connection to our rural roots.
Harry's work is shown throughout Britain and recently made its debut in New York.
R. White April 2017.