Born in Fredericton, Christopher Harding graduated from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Advanced Studies of Surface Design in 2004, where his studies focused on learning a wide variety of surface design techniques. The artist has taken his love of surface design to develop his own unique “outside the box” technique over the past eight years. In 2003 Christopher Harding was an award winner in the prestigious Surtex International Student Design Competition in New York. Christopher opened his painting studio at Fredericton’s Charlotte Street Art and Learning Center in 2006 following his studies at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He currently maintains his practice in Halifax, NS. He is a juried member of the New Brunswick Craft and Design Council and the Nova Scotia Craft Council.
Artist Statement - View from the East
This exhibition featured a series of landscapes and seascapes inspired by the natural formations found across New Brunswick in the Bay of Fundy, including Grand Manan Island and the Hopewell Rocks. The subject matter includes the rough texture of rock and river and distinctive pine trees shaped by forces of wind. I have used a unique Eastern inspired method which results in a painting with a muted pastel quality and colour. While these paintings are reminiscent of the traditional woodblock prints of Japan, each is handcrafted from an original illustration. This fusion of Eastern technique with local themes is the motivation of this exhibition: View from the East.
I have long had an interest in East Asian art and my work is a reflection of this passion. I continue to be captivated by the mystery and elegance of this unique style. Although the work of renowned 19th-century Japanese landscape artists Hiroshige and Hokusai continue to be my inspiration, I am striving to adapt the look and feel of this painting style by applying the technique to Canadian landscapes. This has led me on a journey of personal expression to combine my love of nature with the development and refinement of a painting technique that captures the subtle nuances found in traditional Japanese woodblock prints. My first exposure to this method was at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design while studying surface design. Immediately I was struck by the unique properties that this method produced in a painting.
The Faux Woodblock technique is one of risk and reward where the original painting is completely covered in a layer of India ink and then sprayed with water. The outcome and quality of the painting are entirely dependant on the timing of the ink removal. Even after doing over a hundred of these paintings, I still feel uncertainty in what the final result will reveal. The final product is an image rich in colour and texture. This alteration in the appearance of a painting is a style that I have been developing over the last few years. My initial efforts were aimed at producing a series of Kimono paintings and other Japanese styled landscape images. I am excited to build on my past experience to undertake this new exhibition where I can apply this Eastern painting style to Atlantic themes.
- Christopher Harding, 2019
Established in 1976, Gallery 78 represents artworks of established and emerging Atlantic Canadian artists.
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