Pat Harry OAM was born in 1931 in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney when the trams still ran. The tomboy impulse - and the occasional flamboyant gesture - surfaced early and never departed.
After marrying at the tender age of 22 and having four children, Pat began studying painting in 1960 at Wollongong Technical College, and by 1969 she was teaching art at St. Paul’s College, Bellambi in Wollongong. In her paintings she used the raw materials around her: the bright sand of the endless beaches, the cobalt skies, the colours of the indolent bodies festooning the sands, and their beach accessories. ‘It just came out of me because I lived in the area ... the bright colours, the pure colours - and the shapes. They were based on the sea and sky ... and legs ... lying on the beach looking through people’s legs.’
Pat has shown at many and varied exhibitions ranging from Wollongong to Bangkok to New York to Canberra. She has lectured and taught art at the Canberra School of Art and spent a period as the Artist-in-residence in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at Silpakorn University in Bangkok. Her work is held at the National Gallery of Australia amongst other public and private collection.
After many years in inner Sydney, Pat has recently moved to rural Victoria, with an expansive home and studio. She was awarded an OAM in the Queens Birthday Honours list this year for services to the visual arts.