Born in South Africa, Harris has always had a love affair with nature and the water; “Growing up next to the ocean in Africa has had a huge impact on the way I create as an artist. My paintings are informed by who I am and what I have experienced; a merging of my Celtic, African and new Pacific cultural influences, and the inspiration from the people, places and visuals around me.”
Harris travelled extensively after leaving Africa spending time in the UK, Europa, Australia and Canada, but it was moving to New Zealand in 2000 that Harris found his ‘place’. He initially set up his jewellery studio in Auckland, selling his pieces through galleries and high end stores around New Zealand. However the attraction of the Tutukaka Coast was strong and he moved home and work there in 2003. “My creative work is a celebration of this connection. This coast inspires me, particularly the patterns I see in nature here”.
Harris has a strong design based asethetic to his work. For over 25 years he has been best known for his jewellery, however over the past four years painting has grown to become an integral part of Paul’s artistic practice “The creation of this new body of work has been an exciting journey and process for me. “Life seems both linear and circular to me. I’ve been painting exclusively on circles for a few years and find the shape pleasing and complete. It lends itself to the repeated intricate patterns of my work. It feels like a very old shape. When things come from a centre point and radiate outwards there seems to be a pleasing and peaceful effect. It’s this iteration of cicular pattern that I see reflected in life”