BIOGRAPHY – ANDY HARDING, DETAILED ARTIST Born in Camberwell, South London in 1967, some of Andy Harding’s happiest childhood memories are of drawing, and he recalls the particular delight derived even then from creating intricate, miniature works. His education restricted by learning difficulties, Andy experienced a life changing calling in 2005, when he was woken one morning at 3am, with a compulsion to look out of his window. “I heard the words ‘Just paint…”, he recalls, “and this inspired me to concentrate on painting only, and specifically on canvas. Until then I had assembled an untidy and random portfolio of works, hopping more or less at will from one medium to another.” Andy quickly began painting in acrylics, warming to the feel and flow of the medium, and finding their rapid drying time conducive to his way of working. Initially mixing acrylic with emulsions to create a pastel like feel on the canvas, Andy had already accumulated a small body of work when an enthusiastic patron evidenced his belief in the emerging artist by arranging his first solo show, at the YMCA. “It was a great feeling to have my very first exhibition”, Andy recalls. “It reassured me that I could find an appreciative audience for my work.” Spirituality is of great importance to Harding, drawing on a combination of inner feelings, emotions, relationships, symbolic mysticism and intuition to inform the thought provoking, highly colourful and meticulously detailed work that characterises his style. “I like to see my work as comforting”, he explains. Over the years that followed his first show, Andy exhibited on various further occasions, his work also featuring in a variety of news media. He expounded on his developing career in an insightful radio interview, finding the increasing exposure and recognition reinforcing his own confidence as both an individual and a painter. With a number of smaller showings in London to his credit, Andy has exhibited mainly in and around the Sussex area, including a particularly well-received show at Lancing College. “Words alone are not in the least sufficient to express what I feel deep inside”, the artist explains. “Inspirations are like putting puzzle pieces together – tiny elements of life past and present. I have always found it extremely hard to express myself with words. Expression for me comes more readily through realising thoughts and ideas on paper, card or canvas. My main hope is that someone can find a little joy in each piece of my work.” Aged 51, Andy lives and works in West Sussex.