Austin has always been intensely interested in the natural world, growing unusual perennials in his own garden, studying wild planting along the Nadder river bank and gazing into the canopies of woodlands everywhere.
This show features a mix of botanical prints and paintings, based largely on plants Austin has grown himself or collected on daily walks around his Sutton Mandeville home. These pictures are botanical meditations which encourage the eye to appreciate form and to linger on fine details.
Austin’s B&W plant prints feature specimens that have been gently clipped to show their simplest form and essential beauty. Leaves are lit individually and enlarged to expose hidden natural landscapes or arranged in kinetic patterns that make the eye skip across the frame.
Austin’s botanical paintings mark a new creative direction. Starting with photographs, Austin builds hundreds of layers of paint to create textured plant forms that are reminiscent of lichens found on old tree bark.
He has also continued to explore the dynamic tension between form and space with a series of ordered and disordered patterns of mussel shells. Polished to reveal their delicate colours, these works share a similar meditative quality with the photographic work in the show.
Austin Harragin worked as a stills photographer in the late 1990s before training as an interior designer in London and opening his own kitchen design shop in Wilton in 2008. This is Austin’s first solo show in 15 years.