Collection: Harriet Whyatt

Harriet studied at Film at Falmouth Art School, where she lived for over a decade and began to develop her unique style of painting. Taking on various jobs during this time like selling and collecting scrap metal, Harriet would take wood from skips and paint on them, often with her daughter's finger paints. Harriet takes inspiration from many notable influences in her early life, like the convent school she attended as a child, and the Romany and circus communities which she frequently champions in her work. She sees them as an exemplar of human strength and vibrancy, and seeks to challenge society's lack of empathy and engagement with them. She says, “I had the immense pleasure of living next to a family of Roma in Cornwall, and to this day I have yet to come across funnier, kinder, warmer people. They are hardworking and decent, and have contributed hugely to both my own situation and to the wider community. I shall always be proud to say they are my friends.”

Evoking feelings of passion, melancholy and beauty, her work reveals a vulnerability that is relatable to us all. She says, “I suppose I have used painting as a catharsis over many years, allowing my own vulnerabilities to be released time and time again.”

Harriet has exhibited in Bristol, London, New York, Paris, and Florence. She was recently published in New York's ICA volume 6 publication of International Contemporary Artists.