Jeffrey Harris : {Suite} Wellington

12 April - 14 May 2022
For many artists, a drawing can be a preparatory study for a concept or a particular work, perhaps never intended to be seen by a wider audience, produced purely for the artist’s own contemplation. For Jeffrey Harris however, drawing has been an integral part of his practice, from his earliest days when he started painting full time in the early 1970s, his highly detailed, beautifully rendered works on paper have more than held their own against his paintings.   
Even more surprising is that Harris had no formal art training, and initially took his knowledge and training from his early mentors, Michael Smither and Ralph Hotere as well as an intense study of art history books where Frances Bacon was a particular influence.
In this exhibition, drawings fresh from Jeffrey’s archive, combine two decades worth of work.  Images of Port Chalmers date to the early 1970s and show the confident line and detail that the artist is known for, and his figurative images of Jan Smith and ‘John’ from the same period connect to his more well known family group images which became an intergral part of his practise during this time. 
In the 1980s, Harris turned his attention to the medium of Indian ink and charcoal, enjoying the thicker, more dense tone combined with the looser line which also echoes the direction of his paintings during this period which continued to focus on the themes of crucifixion and other religious imagery.