Andy Harper: Parallel Botany

30 April - 5 June 2022

"The title of Andy Harper’s exhibition refers to  Leo Lionni’s 1976 cult book ‘Parallel Botany’: a field guide to imaginary plants, presented with the appearance of academic authority – complete with illustrations and apparently rigorous references. That points to one interpretation of Harper’s lushly intricate paintings: that we are looking at unreal vegetation, so profuse it has crowded out the full space of the canvas, so heightened in colour it takes on a psychedelic aura." (Paul Carey-Kent)


"Whether conjuring a scene from a parallel botanical world, working abstractly or opening up a dialogue with an appropriated image, my method of painting is the same. A membrane of transparent paint is spread across the slippery surface of the support. Brushes and various implements are pushed into this oily film to create an evolving collection of marks. My hand moves quickly across the surface, driven by a mix of intuitive responses and muscle memory. The painting is witness to thousands of rapid decisions. Evidenced by every twist, jerk, stroke, rhythm, division and line drawn into the wet paint. Like an archaeological trace, each work extends my understanding of procedural memory, visual thinking, pattern recognition, sensory processing, neuroaethestics and haptic perception. Before long the resinous film begins to stiffen and gel.


Once dry, the painting is a record, not of the visual world, but of thought." (Andy Harper)