Pat Harris: Nuba Suite

1 - 30 April 2011

The title of this exhibition of new paintings by Pat Harris, Nuba Suite, is derived from the Sephardic-Andalusian music form Nuba Andalusi.

The Andalusian Nuba is a suite of musical movements composed of five or seven parts. It evolved under the Moors in Cordoba. The Persian-born musician, Ziryab (9th Century AD), is credited with its creation. Ziryab invented the NUBA, a suite which forms the basis of al-âla, the primary form of Andalusian classical music today, along with Gharnati and Malhun.

The melodic and rhythmic movements in Sephardic music have been for sometime a source of inspiration for Pat Harris. The sense of time and space that the music evokes finds its echo in this exhibition. These paintings, all of them depicting flowers, are concerned not only with the colour that distinguishes the flowers from each other but also with the space that each flower occupies and with the spaces and tensions between the flowers, between the marks. Indeed, they are as much about the space that the motif occupies, or has occupied, as they are about the motif itself. The paintings are built up over a series of weeks, placing marks on the surface of the canvas, erasing, looking, waiting, re-painting, erasing yet again.

As a piece of music slowly wends its way from the first note to the last, creating a sense of time and place, so from the first tentative mark to the final conclusion, these paintings evoke a sense of time and place. With history embedded in their surfaces, through the texture of their paint, we can look back in time. We then see traces of marks no longer visible but still somehow present, always in conversation with the final image, the final surface.

Regarded as one of Ireland's leading painters, Pat Harris was born in Dublin in 1953. He has exhibited widely in Europe and his work has been included in several major exhibitions of Irish art, including In the Time of Shaking at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. His work is represented in many collections including: The Arts Council of Ireland, Irish Museum of Modern Art, and Hugh Lane Gallery of Modern Art. He lives in Belgium and is Professor of Painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp.