George J Harding
George is an oil painter and fine artist based in Bristol, UK.
George’s art is an exploration and journey of discovery. His aim is to find a greater sense of self, vision and spirit through the process of making art. He finds authenticity and enjoyment in the many forms, styles and approaches that painting offers.
The different strategies of painterly expression he uses feed into each other and are interchangeable. They reflect an intention to make art that is independent of its origins, ideals and meanings. They are to be enjoyed and experienced in the now.
This miscellany of approaches helps him to create a sense of perceptual clarity, validation and a deeper understanding of his subject and himself. His work intends to celebrate mental health difficulties and differences, and attempts to incorporate these aspects of experience into a broader human condition. Through creative expression, he believes these struggles can be transcended, and transformed into a source of life-enriching strength.
George believes that this journey is for everyone. He wants the value of art to be seen and felt by all.
His first solo exhibition, called ‘There is Good in Us’, was held at the Bethlem Gallery in 2012. A number of solo exhibitions in London and the Southwest have followed, but he retains close links with the Bethlem Gallery since a referral for mental health difficulties during his studies. His interest in mental health led to exposure as a featured cover artist for the British Journal of Psychiatry and 12 Lancet Psychiatry covers throughout 2015 writing essays for them and commenting on clinical trials surrounding art and its health benefits. George’s work appears in the Wellcome Collection, Bethlem Museum of the Mind and Bristol Museum amongst other public and private collections. In 2017 arts organisation OutsideIn and Arts Health South West, put on a radical new show called Alternative Visions. His painting ‘Pink Rain and Pain’ featured, and was the lead image for the exhibition. Alternative Visions toured the South West showing at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Falmouth Art Gallery, The Wilson in Cheltenham and Poole Museum.
George’s portraits are a moment in time that show his interest in the person and celebrates who they are. His self-portraits, often distorted in rippled glass and misted mirror, serve as a metaphor for reality and what lies beyond our physical selves.
Signs and Symbols
George uses signs and symbols converging meaning, making new poetic thoughts and statements.
George’s abstract paintings are about the fun and enjoyment of painting in a meditative state involving colour and texture.
George’s Plein air paintings are quick sketches that are about the enjoyment and enrichment of the natural world and improving his observational skills as a painter.
George’s reliefs are about the joy of looking and scrutinizing exploring surface and depth through layering perspex and resin.
- Turps Banana painting school: Correspondence course (2019-20)
- UAL Chelsea: BA fine art painting (2004-07)
- UAL Camberwell: Art foundation (2003-04)
- Wellcome Collection,
- Bristol Museum and Archives
- Norton Rose
- The LesMes collection
- University of Birmingham
- Bethlem Museum and Archives
- (SLaM) South London and Maudsley Library and Planning Dept
- Mirror, The Ripley Arts Centre, Bromley, London (12th April – 20th May 2016)
- Art Leads To External Places, The Long Gallery, Maudsley Hospital, London (5th Dec 2013 – 31st Jan 2014)
- There Is Good In Us, Bethlem Gallery,Bethlem Royal Hospital, Kent (7th – 30th March 2012)
- Object, Peoples Republic of Stokes Croft, 35 Jamaica Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol (18th May – 6th June 2012)
- Battersea Affordable Art Fair, London (with Clifton Fine Art, Bristol) (12th-15th March 2020)
- Bethlem Affordable Art Fair, Bethlem Gallery, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent (7th – 23rd Dec 2019)
- Edinburgh Art Fair, with Clifton Fine Art, Bristol (21st-24th Nov 2019)
- 167th Annual Open Exhibition, RWA, Bristol (29th Sept-1st Dec 2019)
- The Anatomy of Melancholy, Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent (16th Jan – 27th April 2019)
- Cardboard Citizens Charity Action and Exhibition, 10 Hanover Street, Mayfair, London (12th April – 3rd May 2018)
- With Art in Mind, Zebra One Gallery, 1 Perrin’s Ct, Hampstead, London (1st Oct –30th Nov 2017)
- Alternative Visions: Undiscovered Art from the South West
- Bristol Museum and Art Gallery (3rd June- 10th Sept 2017)
- Falmouth Art Gallery (25th Sep – 10th Dec 2017)
- The Wilson Cheltenham (6th Jan – 11th March 2018)
- Poole Museum (21st March – 6th May 2018)
- Youtopia, Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Beckenham, Kent (11th Feb – 7th April 2016)
- Letting in the Light, Stratford Library, Stratford, London (25th Jan – 24th March 2016)
- Knowle West Media Centre (KWMC) – The Network For Creative Enterprise (NfCE) (Jan 2018 – June 2019)
- Front Cover for The Baring Foundation, Creatively minded report, (Feb 2020) https://baringfoundation.org.uk/resource/creatively-minded/
- The Anatomy of Melancholy, Time Out London, Art Review (Jan 2019)
- The Meaning of Art and Art Therapy, The Lancet Psychiatry (comment commissioned for Matisse Trail on Art Therapy) (Nov 2016)
- A Labour of Love, The Lancet Psychiatry, (Essay written about my experiences of mental health and Art) (Dec 2015)
- Magazine Cover Artist for (12 monthly volumes) The Lancet Psychiatry, Jan-Dec 2015
- The Art of Medicine, The Lancet Psychiatry, vol. 379, Outsider Art, (April 2012,)
- Front cover of British Journal of Psychiatry, (Sept 2011)
- Art and Health South West – panel discussion at AHSW Conference (Diversity and Inclusion in Arts and Health) (13th -14th Dec 2018)
- Poole museum – Tour of Alternative visions (24th March 2018)
- Science Museum, London – Science of mental health (Wed 25th April 2012)