Harvey Taylor

Harvey Taylor

Colchester, Essex, United Kingdom

About Harvey Taylor

Graduated from Winchester School of Art in 1993 and then moved to Colchester in 1997 to teach art at the Sixth Form College where I am now the Head of Art and Design. My painting has evolved from abstract paintings to more exact realist work.

Painting is something I feel I have to do and I use the places I visit and people that I know well as my subject matter. I don’t do preparatory sketches or any under drawing but instead I use a grid to carefully transpose the colours, shapes and lines of an image to canvas. During my degree at Winchester School and Art, and for ten years after, I developed a body of abstract paintings where I was letting the imagery emerge as I worked. However, I grew dissatisfied with this way of working. Seeking a way of making figurative images and wanting to have a way of working that was more controlled I looked towards using a photographic image as my source material.

Dissecting every day photographs that I have taken is now my main artistic practice. Selecting an image to transform into a painting is the hardest part as I know I will be working on it for a number of weeks and maybe months, depending on the size of the canvas. I will start by breaking the image down using a grid. A small hole is cut into a piece of card and this is placed over the image so I only see a small portion at a time.

This way of working was inspired by Malcolm Morley and his superrealist paintings. I then proceed to meticulously and objectively build up a painting from very close observation of these small pieces. The distance I place between the photographic image and the painting enable me to stay focused and work over a long period of time on a piece of work in order to build up a visual intensity. Using artist quality paints means the colours can really sing through.

Although I am not a weaver the painting process feels like creating a tapestry. The image now emerges through the slow process and on closer inspection the painting resembles an abstract painting where the materiality of the paint is very evident.

Combining my practice with my teaching means that regularity and diligence are very important to me. There should be no day without at least a couple of hours visit to the easel working on a painting.

The seascapes and landscapes are often liminal spaces that are empty of people. They reflect a solitary place where you can reflect on life’s journey. The paintings I am showing here also have that all over way of painting inspired by Abstract Expressionism but also refer to contemporary artists such as Franz Gertsch who scale up the ordinary. Patterns created by overlapping leaves brings to mind my earlier fascination with Georgia O’Keeffe’s work and her belief that we should find the universe in a natural form.


PGCE - Secondary Education - Art and Design, Canterbury Christ Church College, Canterbury, Kent
BA (Hons) Fine Art - Winchester School of Art, Winchester, Hampshire
Foundation Diploma, - Kent Institute of Art and Design, Canterbury, Kent




2020 - Part of an online exhibition on Instagram and Facebook - #CuratingforCorona
2018 - Collected Works, The Minories, Colchester, Essex.
2015 - Painting, The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk.
2013 - Portraits, Norman Rea Gallery, University of York
2010 - A Painter's Process, Slack Space, Colchester
2009 - Sleeping Heads, Benham Gallery, Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester
2007 - Wembley Point, West London - Target follow.
2007 - Benham Gallery, Cuckoo Farm Studios
2007 - Appetite Cafe, Colchester
2005 - Shaping Colour at the Digby Gallery, The Mercury Theatre, Colchester
2005 - Benham Gallery, Cuckoo Farm Studios, Colchester
2004 - The Garden Cafe. Firstsite @ The Minories - Colchester
2003 - McCleans Bar, Colchester
2003 - Head Street Gallery, Halstead, Essex
2002 - Priory Galleries, Colchester
2001 - Les Livres Gallery, Colchester
2001 - Trinity Street Studios, Colchester
2000 - Inkpen Downie Gallery, Colchester
1999 - Gallery 73, Brighton
1999 - Chambers Gallery, Ipswich
1999 - Nevill Gallery, Canterbury

2017 Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts and Jiangsu Arts and Crafts Museum - China - Contemporary Masters from the East of England
2017 Menier Gallery, Southwark Street, London - Contemporary Painting: In Good Health - Paintings in Hospitals. Group show with CBP
2017 Contemporary Masters from the East of England, The Cut, Halesworth, Suffolk
2016 Postkarte, Wivenhoe Bookshop, Wivenhoe, Essex
2016, 2015, 2012, 2011 - Essex Open, Beecroft Gallery, Southend
2014 - Priseman - Seabrook Collection, Huddersfield Art Museum
2014 - @paint - Ipswich Arts School2013 - East Contemporary Art: A Collection of 21st Century Practice, Waterfront Gallery, UCS, Ipswich
2014, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009 - Eastern Open, Kings Lynn, Norfolk
2011 - Winner of the Wyss Foundation Painting Prize 2011 at Eastern Open
2009 - Wyss Foundation Prizewinner 2009 at Eastern Open
2016, 2015, 2012, 2011 - Essex Open, Beecroft Gallery, Southend
2012 - Call for entries, Artworks, Cambridge
2012 - All at Sea, Pie Factory, Margate
2011 - Group show at Jardines, Wivenhoe, Essex
2009 - The National Open Art Competition, Chichester
2008 - Braintree Open, Essex
15 Oct - 3 Nov 2007 and 2008 - Canterbury Art Fair - Canterbury Art College
Sept - Nov 2007 - Naze Tower, Walton on the Naze, Essex - Cuckoo Farm group show
Aug - Oct 2007 - Life Cafe, Colchester. Open Studios group show
2005 - Babylon Gallery, Ely. Cuckoo Farm Studios group show
2005 - The Pond Gallery, Snape Maltings, Suffolk. Cuckoo Farm group show.
2004 - John Antony, Colchester
2004 - The Art School, Colchester - Colchester Arts Society Open exhibition
2004 - Buckenham Galleries, Southwold, Suffolk - The Poetry of Art
2004 - Buckenham Galleries, Cuckoo Farm Studios group show
2003 - The Nude, Cabaret Voltaire, Colchester
2003 - Buckenham Galleries, Southwold - Summer show - Invited artist
2003 - The Mill Apartments, show organised by Director of Firstsite
1999 - 2007 - Colchester and Tendring Open Studios - open to the public every year
2002 - The Best of East Anglian Art - in a local solicitor's office
2001 - Hays Galleria, London
1999 - Firstsite@The Minories, Colchester - "˜On the Shelf'
1995 - Riviera Gallery, Hastings - Moves in Black and White - selected show
1994 - Slaughterhouse Gallery, London - selected graduates
1993 - Wiggins BMW Showroom, Winchester - best of the graduates

East Contemporary Art Collection - University Campus Suffolk
Falmouth Art Gallery
Priseman - Seabrook Collection
Art UK