Robert Harrison was born in Neath in 1943. He studied at the West of England College of Art, Bristol, where he achieved a degree in Art and Design.
After a postgraduate course at Cardiff University, he taught Art at a comprehensive school in Hertfordshire before becoming a full time artist. He has exhibited at the Attic Gallery since 1980 and at other galleries across Wales and beyond. Robert Harrison creates textures by overlaying alkyd oil paint with a palette knife, but often resorting to rags and even fingers to obtain this multi-layered effect resulting in a fragmentation of the surfaces. His paintings are almost entirely based on the Welsh landscape. The artist's intention is to fuse two different interpretations of the subject into a single unified composition.
The paintings explore the possibility of combining familiar landscape views with abstract designs. Robert Harrison's paintings demonstrate his ability to fuse man-made structures into the surrounding landscape by constructing abstract architectural forms in the lower half. These constructions echo the subject and its characteristics i.e. the lower part captures the essence of the subject and is synonymous with the upper and joined together perfectly. This is the objective; to find an abstract equivalent or counterpart for the subject revealing its previously hidden identity.
"I try to analyse the structure of the subject whether it is man-made or natural, real or imaginary or obvious or discreet, in order to find this hidden identity."