Born in Sydney and currently living and working in Melbourne, dana harris studied painting at the National Art School in Sydney and Elam School of Fine Arts, University of Auckland in New Zealand. Her art practice is project based and focuses on her obsession with mapping. Creating small scale drawings, weavings and large scale site specific installations, she utilizes a variety of techniques and media, including tracing paper, glass mirrors and cotton embroidery yarn to investigate connections between natural and urban environments.


Her work has been exhibited in both interior and exterior sites, and in 2009 she won the Yering Station Sculpture Exhibition and Awards at Yering Station with a 6 metre site specific installation entitled location. During her residency at Youkobo Artspace in Tokyo in 2014, she created and exhibited tokyo project and in the same year, was commissioned by the Wangaratta Art Gallery to produce a solo exhibition entitled wangaratta project.  


In 2015, dana was included in More Love Hours: Contemporary artists and craft at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne. The following year she was included in Fabrik: minimal and conceptual approaches to textiles at Sutton Project Space and The Ian Potter Museum of Art. She was shortlisted in the final Basil Sellers Art Prize 5, held at the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne in 2016. The following year dana held a solo exhibition memento at CRAFTVictoria and in 2018 her installation ll & lll at Heide Museum of Modern Art was extended, exhibited for a total 8 months. Tamworth Regional Gallery coomssioned a large textile Installation public artwork to celebrate their 50th Anniversary, installed August, 2023. She has created a major work for the 5th Tamworth Textile Triennial, opening in September 2023, the Exhibition travelling nationally for 3 years.


dana is currently working on a large scale commission in Sydney, titled mainframe d -979 which is the aluminum facade of a new building designed by Warren and Mahoney Architects, to be unveiled 2023/24.






the architecture of form simeon kronenberg


I want there to be an awareness of not only the individual piece, but of the wall behind it and the surrounding architecture….of the space itself and the light and shadow. dana harris


Dana Harris studied Ikebana, the exacting Japanese art of flower arranging, in Tokyo in the early 1990’s. She pursued her studies at the Sogetsu school, the most avant garde in Japan. Here, she continued to develop and hone her particular sense of the architecture of form, where the play of light, shadow and texture is as significant as the overall design in space, which is itself determined within strict boundaries. Her recent sculptural work, using coloured thread woven on wire armatures and knitted floor plans pinned in space, owe much to the training she received in ikebana, where notions to do with classical balance and restraint are all-important.


Importantly, the study of Ikebana requires great sensitivity to tradition and the application of selective innovation, within clearly established parameters. The Ikebana artist must (paradoxically) work hard to disguise the effort in achieving a sense of ease, grace and naturalness. For the viewer, the delight in the object created is finally realized before the arrangement, in the very tension created between a recognized and idealized sculptural form and the way that this is guided and extended, through innovation, by the individual artist. A sensitive artist tests the very boundaries of the tradition itself. In essence, Ikebana is an exacting sculptural art, requiring the application of a deep sensitivity to the material and a delight in the play of light, shadow and the fundamentals of three dimensional design.


The New Zealand born, Australian artist, Rosalie Gascoigne, also used this Japanese art as the inspiration for constructed works utilizing found and simple objects, in uniquely Australian combinations. Her work fundamentally changed the way Australians regard the landscape. Dana Harris’ quest is no less poetic. Like Gascoigne, Harris draws on western, abstract modernist art practice, Piet Mondrian, Agnes Martin, Sean Scully and so on, as well as a defined and articulate Japanese sensibility.


Dana’s woven, constructed and knitted works require hours of exacting work. The processes are in themselves deeply repetitive and meditative and reflect something of the processes of Ikebana. By focusing her interest in Eastern traditions within a western context, Harris has developed an art practice that is both particular and synchronous. Indeed, it is testament to the breadth of her training and her determination that there is aesthetic coherence within apparent contradictions.


Dana Harris is concerned to distill the essence of form and to express this with restraint. By expressing itself reservedly and with idiosyncratic refinement, her work quietly invites the viewer to reflect and meditate.












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