A FASCINATION WITH THE UNSEEN, THE LIMINAL SPACE BETWEEN REALITY AND IMAGINATION

My process involves a series of contrasts – covering and revealing, adding and subtracting, and constructing and destructing. These interplays create an important balance between representation and abstraction that demands the viewer’s participation. When standing in front of one of my paintings, the moment that a figure, structure, or landscape begins to appear, it simultaneously dissolves back into a network of layers and colours.

Katharine Harvey - Contemporary Canadian Artist

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Katharine Harvey is a Canadian conceptual painter and multi-media artist based in Toronto. A bold and energetic palette characterizes all her multi-layered works. She combines the haptic presence of shimmering and glowing colours with complex and surprising elements that both obscure and reveal photorealistic details. Throughout her career, she has switched naturally between mediums, allowing her paintings to inform her public artwork and vice versa. This process inspired Katharine to create a body of work that includes multi-layered acrylic paintings, recycled plastic installations, monumental public art, kinetic sculptures, and an illuminated drone show.

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CURRICULUM VITAE

Katharine Harvey in Mayer of Munich studio 2017 of Munich

Artist Statement

My 35-year artistic practice ranges from painting to installation and public art on a monumental scale. A bold and energetic palette characterizes all my multi-layered works. I combine the haptic presence of shimmering and glowing colours with complex and surprising design elements that both obscure and reveal photorealistic details.

My creative process starts with my photograph, which I render in loose brushstrokes. Then, I build up the canvas with numerous layers of acrylic paint and gel to create fascinating 3-dimensional effects. Repainting luminous highlights on the uppermost surfaces, I continue to play with depth in order to emphasize the interactive quality of radiant colours. For my large-scale public artworks, I carry over this methodology of film layering to create hand-painted or digitally printed glass and mosaics that explore captivating interventions of reflective light.

My works invite the viewer to go on a journey to discover the unseen, where hidden details often lay camouflaged beneath. They physically manifest the exploration of indistinct memories and the sensation of ephemeral, fleeting moments, which both lay in the liminal space between reality and imagination. I always portray a celebratory and uplifting message that speaks to the respect which must exist between all levels of civilization.

Biography

Katharine Harvey is a Canadian conceptual painter and multi-media artist based in Toronto. She studied at Queen’s University for her BFA and earned her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Victoria, B.C. Throughout her career, Katharine has switched naturally between mediums, allowing her paintings to inform her public artwork and vice versa. This process inspired her to create a body of work that includes multi-layered acrylic paintings, recycled plastic installations, monumental public installations, kinetic sculptures, and an illuminated drone show.

Her 35-year artistic practice ranges from painting to installation and public art on a monumental scale. A bold and energetic palette characterizes all her multi-layered works. She switched from oil paint to acrylic because fast-drying water-based mediums can be quickly built up in multiple transparent layers, creating 3-D effects.

Katharine Harvey is an award-winning artist and has received grants and accolades from various Canadian art institutions, such as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council, and a People’s Choice award from the Nuit Blanche Festival in Toronto. Her public artworks include art glass and mosaics for Toronto’s Chester Subway Station, as well as hand-painted glass windows for Great Gulf, and digitally printed glass for Concord Adex.

She has created over 20 temporary installations of thousands of recycled plastic objects in Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Monterey Bay, and Hamburg. As this work grew in scope, she discovered free and abundant materials in her home and neighbourhood, such as recycled plastic containers for food, toys, and cosmetics.

The artist has exhibited in both commercial galleries and institutional museums throughout North America, such as the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., the MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie, Ontario), the Art Gallery of Regina, and Nicholas Metivier Gallery (Toronto). Her work is part of corporate art collections like the Bank of Montreal, Canada Council Art Bank, Ontario Hospital Association, Osler Hoskin & Harcourt, Royal Bank of Canada, Scotiabank, and TD Canada Trust, as well as many private collections worldwide.

For the past 14 years, Katharine has served on the board of directors of an affordable housing project in Parkdale, the Phoenix Place apartments.

Harvey recently completed two major public art commissions: a window element and mosaics for the Toronto Transit Commission’s Chester Subway Station, fabricated by Mosaika (Montreal) and Pulp Studio PIX Imaging (Los Angeles); and hand-painted glass wall features, LED illuminated, for a Toronto residential development by Great Gulf, made by glass studio Franz Mayer of Munich.

The artist is represented by Galerie Borchardt, Hamburg, Germany.

RECENT NEWS

Winner of my GIVEAWAY contest

The WINNER of my GIVEAWAY contest is…drumroll, please….Dolkar Tenpa from Oakville, Ontario.

Thank you to everyone who participated by signing up for my monthly newsletters, sharing my emails and posts, and/or visiting my YouTube channel

Charity

Phoenix Place Apartments – 171 Dunn Avenue (at King and Dufferin Street), Toronto

AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN TORONTO

Harvey has been on the Board of Directors of Parkdale United Church Foundation (PUCF) since 2007. The Foundation has 40 years of experience running a successful non-profit affordable housing apartment tower. Phoenix Place Apartments has never received rent subsidies for its residents, yet offers 146 bachelor and one-bedroom units priced well below the local market rate.

PUCF has put forth a proposal to the City of Toronto to redevelop their properties located at 1337 and 1339 King Street West. The objective of this proposal is to add 92 new affordable housing units in a 10-storey building.

Toronto is in desperate need of more low-income housing. Our waiting list of 150 persons (four to six years long) mainly consists of new immigrants as well as “hard to house” individuals. Our organization provides supportive housing services and resources to its residents, including counselling, referral to other agencies, and a food bank.

http://www.phoenixplace.com

ARTWORKS