“It’s not often you get to eat your subjects!” - Chichester exhibition

Greengrocer is the title of Harry Durdin Robertson’s exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Contemporary until Oct 10.
Harry Durdin Robertson (contributed pic)Harry Durdin Robertson (contributed pic)
Harry Durdin Robertson (contributed pic)

Harry, who is based between London and Ireland, said: “I’m very excited to have the opportunity to put on this exhibition at the Oxmarket. The exhibition comprises 24 paintings in all, all the same size, each focused on a single piece fruit or vegetables, from regular stuff like lemons, apples and peaches to more unusual things like fennel, red cabbage and pomegranate. I think they work singly. Most people have a favourite fruit. Or in groups, though a whole block of them could look amazing in a communal space like a restaurant for instance.

“The inspiration for the exhibition came when I was cooking dinner for friends. I’m a passionate cook and love to use a variety of ingredients. I always make sure I get my five a day! It was a warm summer afternoon, and the sun was streaming into my kitchen. I loved the way the light was catching each the fruits and veg I’d bought so the next day I visited the local greengrocer and started buying a whole variety which is how I started work on the project. Fruit and veg offers an artist a myriad of colours and shapes and textures to capture. I’ve been entranced by still life ever since I started painting. Trying to make perishable items live on canvas is a challenge because you’re against the clock, and those colours and textures can change from hour to hour if it’s warm. And focusing on one small object packed with detail is also a joy. Still life is one of the most peaceful and rewarding forms of art for me. And it’s not often you get to eat your subjects!”

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Harry added: “I grew up in Ireland and London and after school I went to study realist painting in Florence, Italy. My mother was born and raised in Liguria so growing up we always had strong ties to Italy. I lived there for about ten years before moving back to London about six years ago. My father was a sculptor and mother is a painter too so I’m not sure there was much escape from some sort of creative career!

“I love the countryside and draw so much inspiration from nature so it makes sense that I was always keen on visual arts.”

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