meirion harries

My images have been acquired by a wide range of people - writers like Hanif Kureishi,

the conductor, Sir Neville Marriner, interior designers, a tattooed ex-graffitti

artist remembering his youth, newly-weds, a High Mistress of St Paul's, police officers,

a restorer of murals in the Royal Palaces.

 

Apart from the obvious, I think there are two underlying reasons why the images appealed.

The first is I think that my work has at its heart a quality of calm. And there is alway a story

or deeper meaning. People say they engage imaginatively with my images. In fact, I know

when a work is "finished" because it engages me: the work has become something other

that speaks in its own voice.

I suppose like all artists, the product is a consequence of the life lived. In my case, the life lived has been various: early isolation with illness; then travel across a wide swathe of the world with my itinerant family from the intense sunlit beauty of Penang to the grey chill rains of North Wales. Childhood ended with injury and a long period of hospitalisation. In the depths of that time, I endured perceptions of the world not dissimilar to those that Sylvia Plath describes in The Bell Jar - colours, noises, shapes all distant and diffused. Memories of this state still provide alternative perceptions of reality that inform my work.

As an adult, my life has remained various: I have worked in China and Japan; swum by moonlight in the fabled waters of Baikal and borne witness to the thawing Cold War in Vladivostok. And photography, of course, has taken me to many countries - as has twenty years as a writer on history and culture. Two books on Japan have brought a deeper understanding of that very particular, spare culture.  And a study of twentieth century war art (published by Tate and the Imperial War Museum) brought me into daily contact with the work of lyrical artists like Eric Ravillious, Paul and John Nash, Henry Moore and John Piper - lasting influences, embedded in long, private interviews with Moore and Piper. 

In 1999, I founded a not for profit organisation dedicated to helping with people with disabilities and chronic illness have a voice - using photography and film to help them tell their truths. Over a fifteen year period, I learned to use the tools at my disposal to help their stories evolve and not to impose my ideas - an approach that is now at the heart of my work. 

I have had nine exhibitions in London, including a current show at Adams Cafe, a centre for Tunisian life in London. My studio is in Notting Hill - a stone's throw from the birthplace of the subject of my two exhibitions about Virginia Woolf.  My last exhibition was be "Snow Spectres - a meditation on Bulgarian history" - held at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute in London from December 5th - 13th. 

EXHIBITIONS

2016 April – Sharing Stillness – Hepsibah Gallery Shepherd’s Bush
2016 September – Alchemies – Lacey Contemporary Gallery Notting Hill
2017 April – Faces from the Continuum – Hepsibah Gallery Shepherd’s Bush
2017 November – Grunge and Roses – Hepsibah Gallery Shepherd’s Bush
2018 March – Rivers Lakes and 42nd Street – Hepsibah Gallery Shepherd’s Bush
2018 May ongoing – Mei Harries at Adams Café Shepherd’s Bush
2018 19th - 24th November – Virginia Woolf: the Victorian Years – Hepsibah Gallery Shepherds Bush
2019 4th - 9th June – Virginia Woolf: a Life Imagined

2019  5th - 13th December - Snow Spectres - Bulgarian Cultural Institute, London