Henrietta Harris

Since graduating in 2006 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Auckland University of Technology, Henrietta has steadily built up a name for herself as a solid New Zealand artist.

Her work is enigmatic and introspective, we stare into the distant gazes of her heavy-lidded subjects lost in thought, uneasy and unsettled perhaps we are venturing into dream these subjects occupy.

As well as being an established watercolor painter, Harris is also remarkable with a ballpoint pen, drawing intricate portraits of faceless figures, paying extra attention to the detail of the hair. Harris deftly highlights the suspended state of observation, that magic moment before a subject is aware of being watched and turns to face you.

Henrietta’s work is often described as ‘deconstructed portraiture’, with the lack of background in her work draws focus to the hesitant figures she paints and the deliberate glitches in their form. They are in a non-place as if momentarily transfigured to a borderless landscape wherein the subjects seem large and small at the same time.

She has skilfully hand-drawn hands, faces, brains, glaciers and more which have appeared in shows all over New Zealand, Australia, London and New York, on t-shirts, on record covers and in fine print publications.