Harry’s first London experience was in the 1930’s when he joined a architect’s office as a trainee. His father had died when he was a teenager and family members tried to influence his future pointing him in directions he did not want to travel. A new world of art, culture and history was opening up and his thoughts were turning to painting. He regularly attended exhibitions absorbing every new detail and idea he observed.

Ousey-presentation_Page_005bThe first Surrealist Exhibition in Britain took place in 1936 bringing Dali, Ernst and others to London. He saw paintings by European artists including Picasso, Braque and Modrian some settling around Hampstead Heath. Kurt Schwitters’s collages gave great inspiration to Harry and he loved to experiment in mixed media. An exhibition of Paul Nash around that time strengthened Harry’s resolve to become painter.

During the War years he was stationed at Woolwich Barracks and was still able to see London exhibitions. Much his own work was destroyed in a bombing raid at his Catford home. The earliest painting that is known is Turneresque scene, 15th August 1945 – “The lights are turned back on again in London”.

Harry and Susie returned to London in the “Swinging Sixties” so much a part of that culture. His first solo show, bold oil paintings on canvas took place at the Lincoln Gallery in 1962 followed by others there and the Drian Galleries. His work was being reviewed the Art Review and other high profile art publications but towards the end of the decade, the media and public’s attention was focusing on “pop art”.

Harry felt his work would be better understood in Europe and after a failed business in Gloucestershire they left Britain in 1976 for France.

“The idea that one could paint, not only as one saw, but as one felt, still being aware of the academic but free to express in terms of painting, ideas not confined to what almost seemed a set of rules.”