Howick artist Betty Harris opens her exhibition at te tuhi - the mark on Thursday the 7th of June. Figuratively Speaking is an exhibition of eight paintings and drawings by the Pakuranga Arts Society member.
Betty Harris joined the Pakuranga Arts Society in 1982 and was tutored and encouraged by New Zealand artist Agnes Wood in watercolours, a medium she had not used before.
After working on still life, abstract and on environmental themes, she started an untutored life study group to draw from the model. Betty uses charcoal, watercolour and pastel and enjoys the challenges of catching the feeling of the pose and close analysis of structure and form.
From these figure studies, Betty paints in flat colours. This frees her from realism and enables her to explore mood, simplification, rhythm, composition and colour. These are the elements that she admires in the works of Henri Matisse such as ‘The Dream’, ‘The Romanian Blouse’ and his cut-out compositions.
Betty Harris has been awarded with a number of prizes including First Prize for a still life watercolour (Jill Kemp Memorial Award - Pakuranga Arts Society) and received two awards for the style presented in Figuratively Speaking in the 1999 Pakuranga Arts Society Mid-Year Selected Members Exhibition.
→ Seeking simplicity that looks spontaneous, Eastern Courier, 08-06-2001
→ Betty Harris: Figuratively Speaking, 2001, exhibition card