REBECCA HARRIS – Dark Burns The Night, Flirty Bird Flies – 10 Nov-4 Dec 2020

The night burned dark and a pair of courting birds sped past, disappearing with a whoosh into foliage. The paintings of Rebecca Harris inspire narrative. She tells us no story – there are no characters, no beginning, no end – but she sets the scene for a tale one might tell oneself. They invite entry. One could tread the paths, dampness might cling to one’s clothing. One might be tempted to eat the berries but are they poisonous? These paintings are visceral – one could taste, feel, smell them – but they are also otherworldly. Though based on specific places Harris presents the world as we have never actually seen it, not in waking hours at least. It is more like a dreamscape.

Her use of oil paint is sensuous and skilled. Beautifully rendered detail and pinpricks of colour overlay oily fields of loose underpainting that have often been scribed with the hard end of the brush for linear expression.  This new body of work marries medium and vision with dexterity and ease.

Review by Jasmine Gallagher in Art New Zealand 177