REBECCA HARRIS – Stealth of Light – 6 Sept-1 Oct 2022
Rebecca Harris often feels her paintings are a continually evolving project. When I look at them, it is as if her hand has only just left the surface. If I turn my back, I imagine she may reappear and busy herself with small alterations, completely absorbed. Under the twigs, leaves, flowers, dew drops and brilliant dots of colour there is a core idea. She starts from photographs of scenery and sky – some her own, others she has sourced – personally responding to something in the scene she identifies with: a shape, a motif, a sensation. On this she builds her painting:
“I work by trying to get to the bones of the photographic image as the fundamental painting and then add and enhance until it takes on its own voice. In these works I have bought together multiple painting techniques that I have practiced over the years. The challenge was to try and make a coherent ‘fusion’ of techniques to produce a painting that straddles the balance between chaotic and harmonious.”
She has become adept at painting with various viscosities and opacities of oil. There is active push and pull on the surface and a sense that, as much as she is constructing a landscape, she is also exploring a previously undiscovered world. Perhaps this is why the paintings feel to her like something continually evolving. Through her attention to detail we follow her eye into the observation of minutiae, and like her, we become curious about what is behind. Rebecca Harris elicits a moment in the present tense, not a recorded memory. Her paintings teem with life.