The Harris Open at the Harris Museum and Art Gallery in Preston has opened to the public.Advertisement
This is an annual celebration of local artistic talent in which accomplished and budding artists, young and old are invited to submit their work for public viewing. Prizes are given in various age categories, including a ‘people’s prize’ voted for by the public.
There are 383 works on display this year in a variety of media, including paintings of all types , sculpture, ceramics, installations, and the inevitable video.
The quality on offer is, as always, astounding with something for everybody. Locals will enjoy ‘Mrs Kirkhams Cheese’ by Olivia Keith,
‘The old Black Bull’ by Tim Bridges, and ‘Preston’ by David Robinson a beautifully composed digital montage of Preston landmarks. Quirky entries include a ‘Tea dress’ made mostly from tea bags by Helen Draper and an untitled ceramic dress by Alice Smalley. A witty and rather naughty trio of nude ladies,
‘The three Chalices’ by Katie Ryan, brought a smile to my face. And, as a bird lover, ‘Arctic Tern’ beautifully drawn in pencil by Ruth Tyson particularly took my eye.
Finally, the magnificent centrepiece of the exhibition is ‘Do you know him?’ submitted by the Halaqah sisters. This is composed of 99 representations of the names of God each represented within a separate canvas and symbolically themed by colour.
This is an important piece of contemporary Islamic art and I sincerely hope that the Harris acquires it for permanent collection.
On the subject of acquisition, most of the pieces on show are available for purchase at prices ranging from £25 to £8000.99 (don’t ask!).
The exhibition runs until 10 January and I urge you to pop in, you are sure to find something you like, and don’t forget to vote for the ‘People’s prize’.
The Harris Open runs until Saturday 10 January 2015.
Have you visited the Harris Open? What’s your favourite piece? Let us know in the comments below