Harry Pearce Fantasy Portrait – Yves de Contades
Harry Pearce, Partner, Pentagram:
In the autumn of 1978, at a small concert in Hammersmith I heard a beautiful song – Hallucinating Light. It was the first time music made me cry. The man who wrote, and performed the song was Roy Harper, and amazingly the following year we met in the street in Canterbury. I went to his gig that evening, and after the show sat chatting in the dressing room where he proceeded to pick up his guitar and play “When an Old Cricketer Leaves the Crease” for me. Over the last 30 years he has become one of my dearest friends. I’ve designed many covers for his albums, and we swap ideas on all manner of things. It’s a beautiful creative road we’ve walked together. Every so often, I head over to Clonakilty in Ireland and take up a short residence in Roy’s wonderful home. We sit in his studio late into the night listening to playbacks of new songs and head off into deep discussions with a companion bottle of Jameson’s Irish Gold. Heaven. Over the last few years Roy has been really ill. When he was particularly low I spent a long weekend with him. On the Sunday as I was about to leave for the airport, he took me into the studio and pointed to a beautiful hand made acoustic Fylde guitar. It was his guitar, made especially to record a complete album – The Dream Society. He gave me this exquisite piece, and I left for England, speechless. I play it everyday, its quality soothes my spirit. Needless to say it’s the guitar in this picture and Yves has created grain in the image inspired by a beautiful portrait of Roy on the cover of his seminal 1971 record, Stormcock. If I’d been asked for a fantasy portrait back in 1978, this would have been it. 32 years later it’s a wonderful reality.
Dr Cecilia d’Felice’s psychological interpretation: This marvelous portrait is full of warmth, humanity and charm. The subject, Harry Pearce, appears so comfortable in his skin, at peace with himself. His long delicate fingers caress the guitar that clearly means so much to him, indicative of his sensitivity and lightness of touch. His wonderfully genuine smile instantly engages, encouraging us to approach.
Everything about the portrait suggests relaxed ease. Harry’s positive energy and mindful awareness radiates and the twinkling humour in his eyes draws us closer. We can imagine he is someone that has travelled far, seen much and understood more. A man who has undertaken a fearless inquiry into his life without limits.