The source for Marie Harnett's small-scale drawings are films and for each one she transposes a carefully selected still in precise detail. In doing so, she subverts the very nature and intention of the cinematic process - film frames are not typically intended to be viewed statically or in isolation; they are the constituent parts of a carefully plotted production, edited to effect a desired narrative at a particular pace. By removing them from the context and reworking them as intricate pencil studies, the viewer is forced to focus on every aspect of pose, light and texture - in many cases emphasising subtle nuances which are lost in the film as a whole. By doing this Harnett hopes to lure the viewer into a sense of stillness, to be drawn into the intimate work and moment. She explores the element of time within her work, by taking something fleeting and making it permanent. Both fast and slow. She renders the majority of her work in pencil as it lends itself particularly well to the intimate nature of the drawings. It provides a velvety softness and a burnished gleam that is unique to the medium.
Marie Harnett was born in 1983 in Hertfordshire. She studied drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art from where she graduated in 2006. She now lives and works in London.
Recent solo exhibitions include Marie Harnett at Theodore: Art, New York, USA (2017) and Drawings at Galleria Bonomo, Rome, Italy (2014). Recent group exhibitions include Last Year in Marienbad: A Film as Art, Bremen Kunsthalle, Bremen, Germany (2015), Beyond Reality: British Painting Today, Galerie Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic (2012), A Parliament of Lines, Edinburgh City Art Centre, Edinburgh, UK (2012) which travelled to Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, UK (2013).
Harnett’s works are in international public and private collections including the Yale Centre for British Art, Connecticut, USA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA and the British Museum, London, UK. She is currently working on a new body of drawings and prints for her next solo show with the Alan Cristea Gallery, London in 2017.
Her work is represented by the Alan Cristea Gallery, London.