Rolf Harris - Can You Tell What It Is Yet?Laura Johnson
Posted on 07 Mar 2012
Rolf Harris: Can You Tell What It Is Yet? features an eclectic range of paintings, memorabilia and much more from the UK’s best selling published artist and well loved entertainer.
The original works on display - including paintings, drawings, lithographs, cartoons and sculptures - range from Rolf’s early days as a student to paintings he created at lightning speed in front of a TV camera. The exhibition also includes some of his most impressive and well known pieces, such as his iconic portrait of Her Majesty The Queen, painted in 2005 to mark her 80th birthday the following year. As part of the exhibition the royal portrait will be on display during the Diamond Jubilee celebrations this year.
The exhibition includes self-portraits, portraits, paintings of wildlife, urban and rural landscapes and studies of people and everyday life from home and abroad. The range of subjects reflects the wide range of experiences and locations that Rolf has encountered in his personal life and his long and illustrious career.
There is also a selection of drawings offering a different insight into this ageless, extrovert character, who has been with us since the very beginning of national television in the UK. His phenomenal career in art and entertainment spans sixty years.
This is the first major UK exhibition to explore Rolf’s life and work. It displays the various ways Rolf has succeeded in bringing art into the lives of millions of people both here in the UK and abroad, from Rolf on Art, his hugely popular BBC TV programme, which has covered the lives and techniques of many great artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Gainsborough and van Gogh, to his own work, which exudes such a joy of painting.
Alongside the artworks will be a large and fascinating array of artefacts and memorabilia including objects from his childhood to the present day. From Australian Junior Backstroke Champion to rock-singer and award-winning television presenter and artist, the items on display are as diverse – unusual musical instruments, paint splattered jeans, awards, photos, papers, album covers, TV clips and many more!
Commenting on the exhibition, Rolf says: 'This is hugely exciting for me. I’ve been drawing, painting and singing as long as I can remember and to see so many of my life’s endeavours together in one exhibition is hard for me to believe. With all the other ‘Rolf’ related items, gathered from as far afield as Australia, this promises to be like a tapestry of my life.'
Exhibition curator, Charlotte Keenan says: 'The Walker Art Gallery is thrilled to be exhibiting the work of Rolf Harris, whose enduring popularity is testament to a man who has entertained generations with his infectious love of art and music. We are delighted to be able to show such a large cross-section of Rolf’s work that draws on different points in his career and reveals a life-long passion for self-expression.'
Rolf Harris: Can You Tell What It Is Yet? will appeal to people of all ages, from individuals to families, community groups and schools. It will be entertaining, informative, educational and fun with a level of optional interactivity. Admission is free.
Exhibition developed in partnership with DeMontfort Fine Art.
Walker Art Gallery William Brown Street, Liverpool
Open 10am-5pm every day Information 0151 478 4199
Rolf Harris - artist biography
Rolf Harris, artist, musician, singer, TV presenter and entertainer was born in Bassendean, Western Australia. He is a CBE and is a Member of the Order of Australia and he has received many entertainment industry awards, had chart-topping hits, written best-selling books and exhibited his paintings in the National Gallery, London. Rolf’s portrait of The Queen to celebrate her 80th birthday was the subject of a BBC world-wide TV documentary. The portrait was exhibited at Buckingham Palace and the Palace of Holyrood House and later at the opening of the new Australian National Portrait Gallery, Canberra where Rolf presented the annual lecture on portraiture. Rolf recently played a record-breaking, sell-out season at The Sydney Opera House and a hugely successful performance at the Pacific National Exhibition’s 100th Anniversary in Vancouver and he recently made his sixth appearance at the Glastonbury Festival where he has been voted Glastonbury’s most popular entertainer.