Jeffrey Harris

Aotearoa New Zealand, b.1949

Untitled from the Imogen's Grave series

  • 1977
  • Pastel and acrylic on paper
  • Gift of Patricia Bosshard-Browne, 2019
  • 565 x 750mm
  • 2020/020

Untitled from the Imogen’s Grave Series depicts the pristine white headstone of Jeffrey’s and Joanna Margaret Paul’s infant daughter Imogen Rose Harris at the Catholic cemetery in Akaroa. Imogen was born at Barrys Bay in February 1976, but was diagnosed with a heart condition and tragically died before the year was out. A parents grief of the loss of his baby daughter is expressed through the headstone in the centre of the work, which is enveloped in a bleeding heart balanced on a cup. It’s a work loaded with symbolism; the headstone and heart flanked by two trees set against the Akaroa Harbour landscape. This work is one of a number Jeffrey created in pastel and acrylic on paper in memory of his daughter that culminated in several large oil paintings. Together with Joanna’s incredibly moving book of poems titled Imogen (1978), they display the deep sorrow and grief of both parents at losing their daughter.

(Jeffrey Harris: The Gift, 1 October 2022 – 12 March 2023)

Exhibition History