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Beverley Fitzwilliam Harries

Born in Trinidad in 1956, Beverley always had a strong appreciation for Art throughout her primary and secondary education; therefore studying Fine Art in Canada with a Painting Major was a natural choice.  After pursuing Painting with experimental themes in Canada, which was the contemporary trend in the late 70s, she returned to Trinidad and worked with watercolours and West Indian reality.  
For 19 years Beverley was the Art Teacher at Bishop Anstey High School in Port of Spain, and an Assistant Examiner for CXC Art & Craft and SBA in Barbados and Trinidad respectively.  She also conducted evening classes and small workshops for adults. 


Whilst teaching, she painted sporadically, mostly on commissions and with the odd burst of energy from painting buddies.   Teaching art often develops a rift between the creative and teaching mode for artists.  Robert Genn once wrote, “Art teachers who would also be artists have unique challenges.  Coming down after a day of words may take a decompression chamber…. Some art instructors find a daily transition to the worker mode almost impossible and must wait for holidays or sabbaticals” (Painters Keys weekly letter of Feb. 4 2005). 


Beverley resigned from her teaching post and migrated in 1997 to Jamaica and 2000 to St. Lucia with her family.  Living in St. Lucia gave her the blank canvas to start again.  She joined friends and artists in close-by Barbados where she attended workshops with Margaret Roseman and Heidi Berger, who were a great inspiration.  She returned to Trinidad in 2007 and works with acrylics on canvas.


Since 1975 Beverley has taken part in several group and collective shows in Canada, Barbados and Trinidad and has had several successful solo shows both in St. Lucia and Trinidad.  Her work is part of many private collections internationally. To date she had held seven solo shows.

 

 

Review by Lawrence Waldron M.F.A., art historian:

Fitzwilliam Harries' brushwork is confident, immediate, graceful. The buttery quality of her acrylics would easily convince the viewer that they were oils. Her emotional use of high key primary and secondary colours calls to mind the Expressionists like Derain and Vlaminck, and perhaps even early Kandinsky, but the substitutions of observed colour with 'irrational' colour so beloved of the old Fauve masters are not so unnatural in the florid reality of the tropical Caribbean landscape. Here, a lavender tree trunk or even a yellow sky seems more possible to evoke, whether through observation, memory or fanciful whim. Fitzwilliam Harries conjures these spectacles of light, form and texture with her heart held out before her eyes, and with a masterful hand close behind.