Monday, 24 July 2017

Harry T. Harmer, Artist | Spitalfields Life

Harry T. Harmer, Artist | Spitalfields Life

... The facts of the life of Harry T. Harmer (1927-2013) are scarce yet
his distinctive paintings speak eloquently of his personal vision. Born
in Kennington, Harry was afflicted with epilepsy and married his wife
Ruby when they were both in their adolescence. Ruby offered Harry
emotional support in the face of a father who did not recognise his
disorder and the couple enjoyed a marriage that lasted through eight
decades. ...
Disqualified from military service, Harry worked in the parks department
and, possessing a strong sense of justice, he fought for the rights of
fellow workers through many years as a union representative. In the
mid-fifties, Harry discovered an ability to draw and paint, travelling
around Kennington and north of the river to the East End, making
sketches of places that embodied the living city he knew intimately. ...
For most of their married life, Harry and Ruby Harmer occupied a council
flat in a dignified Victorian terrace in Kennington, where Ruby lives
today tending to an appealingly unkempt garden and a posse of
neighbourhood cats. In the back room overlooking the garden where Harry
did his paintings, his small formica topped work table still stands by
the window where today a box of his ashes sits beside a bunch of fresh
flowers that Ruby changes each week. The popularity of Harry’s works
means that Ruby is the devoted custodian of just a few of her husband’s
paintings, and a suitcase of his pencil sketches, press cuttings and
exhibition catalogues. ...



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