Thursday, September 24, 2009

Harry Pidgeon's Naturally Touched Cooks Hill Gallery

Harry Pidgeonslopeswest

My thanks to Paul Barratt for bringing to my attention the latest exhibition by New England painter Harry Pidgeon.  This will be open until 12 October at Mark Widdup’s Cooks Hill Galleries in Newcastle.

This painting, slopeswest, shows the New England Tablelands merging into the patchwork quilt of the Western Slopes and Plains. The different soil colours in the fields together with sky and horizons makes for some very attractive and striking scenery.   

Harry Pidgeon at Cooks Hill provides an introduction to the artist, as well as links to past exhibitions. Harry Pidgeon exhibition: Naturally touched provides links to the exhibition, while Harry Pidgeon’s opening at Cooks Hill reports on the opening.

I followed Paul and Harry through the Misses Cooper to Armidale Demonstration School and then to TAS the year behind. I didn't know Harry well. One year behind is actually a considerable gap at an early age. However, I find the similarities in early life patterns interesting  Harry Pidgeon dialogueboxes

The next painting is simply called dialogue boxes.

The Gallery records a little of Harry's career in these terms:   

When nature and art touch each other they become one, this is how Harry grew up in rural New England with its backdrop of thunderhead clouds, mountains, ravines, and small townships. Constantly going bush, observing nature, birds and animals he was always drawing and painting. As a keen observer of nature he was regularly painting outdoors by the age of seven with the Adult Art Education students from the Armidale Teacher’s College. From the beginning he loved the bush’s nuances and throughout his life has walked, camped, canoed, studied and painted its many discourses.

It was always Harry’s intention to be a painter and by the time he arrived at The National Art School in Sydney he was using watercolours with the force of oils. He was strongly influenced by the work of Paul Klee, Edward Hopper, Lyonel Feininger and Wayne Thiebaud, all of whom had early careers in the world of mass communications. It was no digression that after graduating Harry decided to join the then largest advertising agency in the world - the American owned J. Walter Thompson Company as a graphic artist and an art director working on national and international accounts.

In the early 80’s Harry segued to painting full time and over a 5 year period won more than 50 art awards in Sydney, Brisbane and interstate regional centres. Concentrating on exhibiting, his career now includes 28 solo or feature artist exhibitions and dozens of group shows. Galleries exhibited at include: Barry Stern, Trevor Victor Harvey, Holdsworth, Philip Bacon, Red Hill, Riverhouse, Schubert, Cooks Hill, Eddi Glastra, Bell Gallery and CAZ and Biota in Los Angeles USA.

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