Seasons Song

7 March 2024 - 6 April 2024

Sunrise Song, 2023

watercolour
H:103cm W:60cm
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Blossom and Birdsong, 2023

watercolour
H:14-22cm W:15-18cm
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With Yellow Breast and Head of Solid Gold, 2023

watercolour
H:76cm W:56cm
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Summer Song, 2023

watercolour
H:76cm W:106cm
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Coal Tit and Willow Leaves, 2023

watercolour on Sekishu paper
H:20cm W:22cm
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Coals in Willow, 2023

watercolour on Sekishu paper
H:96cm W:64cm
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Wisteria Blue, 2023

watercolour on grass paper
H:42cm W:42cm
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Wisteria Gold, 2023

watercolour and gold leaf on grass paper
H:40cm W:43cm
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Wagtail I, 2023

watercolour
H:14cm W:19cm
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Wagtail II, 2023

watercolour
H:14cm W:18cm
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Great’s Shadow, 2023

watercolour and ink on Xuan paper
H:30cm W:30cm
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Summer Gold, 2023

watercolour
H:76cm W:56cm
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Spring Magnolia I, 2023

watercolour on grass paper
H:18cm W:14cm
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Spring Magnolia II, 2023

watercolour, gold leaf and collage
H:24cm W:18cm
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Early Spring, 2023

watercolour on grass paper
H:42cm W:35cm
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Spring Magnolia III, 2023

watercolour and gold leaf on grass paper
H:12cm W:12cm
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Morning Song, 2023

watercolour
H:68cm W:103cm
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Coal and Camelia I, 2023

watercolour, ink and collage on grass paper
H:15cm W:10cm
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Garden Blossom, 2023

watercolour, gold leaf and collage
H:26cm W:42cm
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Coal and Camelia II, 2023

watercolour on grass paper
H:15cm W:10cm
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Coal and Camelia III, 2023

watercolour, ink, gold leaf and collage
H:30cm W:16cm
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Coal and Camelia IV, 2023

watercolour, ink, gold leaf and collage
H:23cm W:22cm
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Autumn Twilight, 2023

watercolour
H:56cm W:76cm
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Gathering Waxwings, 2023

watercolour
H:94cm W:71cm
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Black and Red, 2023

watercolour
H:55cm W:76cm
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Shoreline Flight, 2023

watercolour
H:59cm W:94cm
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Black-headed Gull, Summer, 2023

watercolour
H:18cm W:18cm
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Sea Spear I, 2023

watercolour
H:19cm W:14cm
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Gannets, Bass Rock, 2023

watercolour
H:19cm W:22cm
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Sea Spear II, 2023

watercolour
H:19cm W:28cm
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Dive I, 2023

watercolour on Xuan paper
H:37cm W:68cm
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Dive II, 2023

watercolour on Xuan paper
H:48cm W:69cm
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Isle of May I, 2023

watercolour and ink on grass paper
H:47cm W:31cm
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Isle of May Puffin, 2023

ink and collage
H:18cm W:13cm
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Kintsugi Rose, 2023

watercolour and gold leaf
H:19cm W:29cm
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Last of the Rowan Berries, 2021

watercolour
H:56cm W:76cm
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Waxwing, 2023

watercolour and ink
H:22cm W:30cm
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Born: 1970
Place of Birth: Ayr

Claire Harkess was born in Ayr, Scotland, graduating from Glasgow School of Art in the early 1990s. In recent years her painting has taken her to fragile lands to study and interpret life on the edge. Antarctica, Outback Australia and St Kilda are all places where, in such extreme environments, survival is difficult and the balance of life is delicate. Six hundred miles due west of Ecuador surrounded by the Pacific Ocean lie the Galápagos Islands, made famous by Charles Darwin’s ‘The Origin of the Species’. This isolated volcanic outpost remained relatively untouched by man, evolving to become one of the World’s unique ecosystems. The balance present in nature is clearly communicated through the paintings. Painting in watercolour offers a unique directness; the essential qualities of light and energy present in the natural world are the very essence of the medium itself. The delicacy of her palette and oriental economy of her mark-making creates a subtle tension representing a world that is ‘holding still’, giving a sense of freedom, spirit, time and place.

Claire exhibited at The Scottish Gallery in April 2018, exploring the idea of A Wilder Place. In July 2020 Claire presented an exhibition Into the Wild, featuring works created in the Arctic Circle and rewilding centres in Scotland. In March 2022 Claire’s exhibition The Garden, opened in The Gallery. The exhibition explored her immediate surroundings in Perth from a collection of borrowed gardens. Claire carefully and joyfully captured the visitors: the birds, the squirrels, the badger, and for the first time she brought the flora to the foreground while a butterfly or a tiny snail might be found in the detail. This close-up of the familiar natural world, so easily overlooked, has expanded her practice. Her work has a delicate, oriental sensibility, suiting longer formats, and employing kintsugi techniques, adding to their sense of fragility.

‘I return again and again to wildlife and the natural world. It surprises and inspires. No two encounters are the same. Being present in something greater gives perspective. There is always something new to learn. It is an anchor that holds all of us and it must be protected.’ – Claire Harkess


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