At age twenty-six, Harry White determined that he wanted to develop his own unique form of expression and so he developed “fleurage”, the name he gave his collages made primarily with flower petals and plant parts.
Harry presses his materials between sheets of facial tissue placed in large telephone books. They dry according to the nature of the plant material and the climatic conditions. When dry, they are categorized by type and color and stored in horizontal files.
He assembles his selection of petals and leaves and cuts and adheres them to an archival surface using a glue formulated to bind and preserve antique and rare books. He applies the glue with a brush, utilizing a glass palate for a working surface. The glue is water soluble when working and permanent when dry. Over thirty years, he has developed numerous techniques to achieve different forms of expression including landscapes, portraits and abstractions. Harry believes that practice, experimentation and mistakes are the best teachers.
Harry says that it is essential for him to be at one with his medium from the ground up and so gardening in all of its aspects is focal in his life. His goal is to be able to give truth back to the world through his art, a truth that perceives motion, change, pattern and eventually an evolution. Harry’s art and his garden were recently featured in, The Inspired Garden: Twenty-four Artists Share Their Vision (DownEast Books 2009), providing an exciting lesson on how artistic principles underlay garden design just as much as they do sculpture, painting, mosaic, or other arts.
Harry’s garden illustrates his interpretative concepts of motion and change to beautify and create harmony and resonance with the natural world. With an eye for composition, texture, and color, he breaks traditional garden “rules”. His artistic expression in the garden is a natural extension of his artistic medium. He was hailed by Picasso’s first agent in the U.S. as “one of the few artists of the 20th century to create a new art form, “fleurage”. The Book of Knowledge credits him with creating the fleurage medium in 1983.
Harry has exhibited extensively throughout New England, New York and Washington, D.C. He has been featured in Smithsonian, Yankee, Horticulture and American Horticulturist magazines and in dozens of newspapers and on local television.
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