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Profile - Anna Harpley

Artist's Statement. Anna Harpley.


Watercolours were part of a childhood nurtured by a patient Grandparent. The sensual qualities of special paper, finely crafted brushes, chamois, charcoal and a porcelain palette were layered on the luxury of mineral pigments from Europe swollen with fluid and running across the page.

The movement of water through earth after rain, of rivers across landscapes and the sediments patterned in reefs and floodplains are at the heart of the watercolour medium. Pigments fuelled with fluid converging and absorbing have a random habit that evokes the patterns on earth as we see them from above.

Curvilinear movements uphold the harmonies of nature in elegant simplification. The influence of the Art Nouveau period and the abstraction of space and form in Japanese art have an eloquence that I would explore as a visual language. The stained glass windows of volcanic glass and gilding in mediaeval architecture and manuscripts inspire my absorption in colour lit with metallics. I am intrigued that our extraordinary cultural history expressed in art continues to assert itself.



The feather like brush strokes that define these dancing forms are rhythmic and sensual. Their movement and vitality evoke vital beings, These forms are reminiscent of aquatic plants in motion or foliage in organic expression. 

The Indigenous Masters of our country have expressed these energetic movements in diverse perfection. Our own Western fascination with the aesthetic of botanical plates, motifs and pressed flowers are continual sources of inspiration to me and my Fireflowers.