Pat Harris was born in Dublin in 1953 and spent a year as an evening student at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, before enrolling on a full-time painting course there from 1973 to 1978. He continued his studies at the National Institute of Fine Arts, Antwerp, and graduated in 1981. He taught painting at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Antwerp for many years and now lives betwwen Tielrode, Belgium and County Mayo.
Flowers and landscapes frequently appear in Harris' work, but he is not directly concerned with the objects he paints. His paintings are not straightforward paintings of things but the rendering of their aura and the shape of the defining space around them; the space in which the border between object and background dissolves. They are built up in layers, over time - in some cases weeks, in others months, in a few cases a year or more. They are an attempt not just to paint a rock, a stack or flower but also the space and time they occupy, the light that makes them visible.
Pat Harris was awarded a scholarship to the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, and several Belgian Ministry of Education and Dutch Culture scholarships. He is a member of Aosdána and the Royal Hibernian Academy. He has had numerous solo shows in Belgium and Ireland, and regulary exhibits with Purdy Hicks Gallery, London and Taylor Galleries, Dublin. Harris' work is represented in many private collections and also features in the public collections of The Arts Council, AIB, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, the Boyle Civic Art Collection, St. Patrick's Hospital, A&L Goodbody, and University College Dublin, among others.