Palmerston North, Aotearoa New Zealand born 1956
print workshop (organisation)
Deities series I
2004 Description: woodcut prints that can be displayed separately or in a series of three or in three rows of three
Collection Title: Deities
Place made: Singapore
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper woodcuts, printed in colour, each from multiple blocks Support: off-white handmade STPI paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark
Edition State: published state
Edition: edition of 15
Brent Harris is one of Australia’s most distinctive contemporary artists and has developed a unique aesthetic that centres on bold, organic shapes and meticulous surfaces of unmodulated and minimal colour. Although primarily known as a painter, Harris’s printmaking is an important component of his artistic practice and often informs his paintings.
In 2004 Harris was the first Australian artist to be given a residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute. The Deities prints are the result of a month working with the master papermaker Richard Hungerford. Harris experimented with the jigsaw woodcut printing technique, which is highly suited to the flat, bold shapes he favours in his work. However, the textured and broken surface of woodblock printing represents a significant shift away from the artist’s customary uniform surfaces.
The nine Deities prints explore images of Buddha, Jesus and the god Ganesha. Each face is seen close up with eyes closed, giving the works a quiet introspection. However, this is balanced by the use of clean bold colours that radiate a feeling of warmth and compassion and, when viewed together, express a universal humanity.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008