Gibson Fine Art is pleased to present aN Incredible new artist gabryel harrison
Harrison’s work is a love story to the persistence of flowers, of their defiant tenacity as well as their delicate beauty. As flowers share their radiance in ceremonies of birth, marriage, and mourning, so the artist’s deft rendering can transport viewers to spaces of solemnity, peace, harmony, and acceptance.
Gabryel HarrisonSunlit Suspension
Gabryel Harrison was born in New Zealand. The artist now lives and works in Vancouver, Canada. She completed a BA with a concentration in fine art at the University of Ottawa in 1980, later fulfilling post-graduate requirements to become an art therapist in 1992. Working as an art therapist until 1996, and thereafter in the creative arts field, Harrison has been painting full time since 1999.
Early years spent in the rigorous pursuit and attainment of world-class athletic achievement gave Harrison the necessary discipline to enter long hours of solitude in the studio. These solitary hours facilitate growth, discovery and continual evolution as she seeks to deepen her practice of painting.
Harrison works predominately in the medium of oil painting, but her body of work includes printmaking, texts, video and sculptural objects. Gabryel is a painter inspired by the natural world and in particular its botanical forms. In her hands, the temporality of our existence is revealed in the gestural abstractions of florals, foliage and landforms.
Her large scale oils on canvas speak in washes, layers and heavily impastoed passages of our own brief transit through this mysterious universe. As a visual artist who also writes poetry, this art form and Harrison’s favorite poets are also a major source of inspiration for her work.
Meditating on ordinary, simple elements of nature; land, light, and flowers, I can say that for me, as spoken before by other painters, “Painting is another form of praying”. Painting is my practice of being fully present, intentional and alive to life. Looking deeply at the rose, the peony, the foliage, seeing deeply into the land and the surrounding space and air within which we exist, I am touched and opened to a deeper reverence for all forms of life and our interwoven existence through time.
Every flower is perishable and each one of our lives is but a brief flowering. All that we are and all that we love are part of a great current, a moving stream of ever arising and vanishing possibilities. My paintings are reflections on the temporal arc of this natural and beautiful passage.
We offer flowers at all moments of extremity. We offer them as laurels for the living and testaments to the dying. Their beauty is not separate from the brightness of the space they invariably enlighten, their fragrance lingers in memory like an elegy. Manet painted the bouquets brought to him as he lay dying. Some of Kafka’s last words were instructions written on slips of paper that advised; “Please look and see that the peonies don’t touch the bottom of the vase. This is why they have to be kept in bowls.” And one of the last sentences he wrote: “How wonderful that is, isn’t it? The lilac dying. It drinks, goes on swilling”.
Using variations of oil sticks, paint and mediums, scratches, scumbles and splatters of slung paint, I am inspired by instinct and intuition as much as intellect. I celebrate accident, inviting drips and smudges to evoke both decay and effulgence. In this way, the painting arrives as a “thing in itself” composed of the gesture containing its own making. I utilize deliberation and chance, thin washes and passages of impasto to arrange relations of color, value, calligraphic stroke and line into a feeling or memory, a pictorial composition more akin to the distillation of poetry than the descriptive lines of prose. I paint the moment in time and its passing. Like the Japanese phrase “mono no aware” meaning beauty tinged with sadness, I paint the flower and the death in the flower. I paint not to describe the flower but to feel my place in the stream.
I offer these paintings in the midst of a world comprised of ever-increasing speed and volatility as possibilities of quiet reflection. I invite the viewer to slow down, to be present. This simple engagement can be a radical act.
To quote Brice Marden: The rectangle, the plane, the structure the picture, are but sounding boards for a spirit. I always see the painting as a contemplative object”.
Fully present, intentional, and alive to the life-affirming forces all around us yet oft-ignored, Gabryel Harrison celebrates the natural world, primarily its flora, marvelling at their vigour, buoyancy, and regenerative potential as well as their fragility.