29th Oct – 22nd Nov 2014
We live in a world where seeing naked or near nude bodies in public, is inevitable and almost mundane.
For Harley's first solo exhibition, opening on October 28th, I explore nudity in unexpected situations. Whether it’s today’s celebrities, early explorers, 1930’s beach-goers, or even the Queen of England herself, no one is off limits.
Though better known for his work in television, with documentaries on Discovery and National Geographic, his first love was painting. His Great, Great, Great Grandfather was well known English portrait artist Samuel Massey, who married the sister of his friend and fellow painter JN Rhodes. Harley's Grandfather was also a painter, although as a dairy farmer in Taranaki.
Harley started painting with oils when he was eight and in the late 1960's went to Wimbledon Art School in England. Unfortunately, I was painting English landscapes when everyone else was into abstract minimalism. Still, I got my degree in painting which didn't help me at all with my first job at the BBC. Television became my career. He still painted when he had time, between projects, which because he was freelance, was often.
In 2013 Harley decided to start painting full time, this exhibition is the result of twelve months effort.
In the late 1960’s Harley attended Wimbledon Art School in London, painting English landscapes in an era of abstract minimalism. It was a tough way to earn a BA in painting. Harley’s career was in television, as an editor, producer and director, making documentaries for National Geographic and the Discovery Channel as well as programs for TV channels in Australia and New Zealand.