David Harley

curated by Brie Trenerry

David Harley, Beforegreen, 2015.



David Harley uses digital processes to extend what he terms ‘free-form’ abstract painting.  He imbues the synthetic and cool nature of the digital with the personal and the idiosyncratic.  His tools vary from working with VR headsets CAD programs, wall spray painting, large format printing, to motion graphics animations. He is interested in the paradox of abstract painting and illusion and likes to explore the possible space behind the surface illusion of the ‘canvas’.  The confines of the nature of the various software or platform he uses become his material.    


In this exhibition, David revisits a work Beforegreen, which was initially shown in his PhD completion exhibition at the Margaret Lawrence Gallery in 2015.  The work is a 2d projection with a multi layered surround-sound track comprising sounds that David voiced emulating the accumulated behaviours and spatial dynamics of the elements in the constructed virtual 3d model, from which it is sourced. Using software often associated with CGI for film he has used it here for assembling  a collection of smudges, lines and wire frames. 


David graduated with a fine arts degree from RMIT in 1985, His initial exhibiting career was with Pinacotheca Gallery through the 1990s.  He completed a Master of Fine Art from RMIT in 1995 where he was introduced to incorporating computers into his easel painting practice; and in 1997, at the invitation of Tristan Humphries, he went to the Camberwell College of Art, London, where he worked on a research program integrating commuters into art practice. Since that time, he has been steadily incorporating consumer software developments as they arise into extending his practice.  From 2000 he made a series of exhibitions of large format print environments. David has also lived and worked in Germany where he has had various studio residences, and exhibitions.  A highlight was having a solo survey exhibition at the Nassauischer Kunstverein in Wiesbaden in 2008.  In 2015 he completed a PhD at the Art School, VCA, Uni Melb. David is represented by Charles Nodrum Gallery where he has been exhibiting since 2011.


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