Harnett makes series of highly detailed, minuscule drawings, derived from film stills, which capture fleeting moments of drama, suspense or beauty..
The source for Marie Harnett's small-scale drawings are films and for each one she transposes a carefully selected still in precise detail. Her process requires her to watch film trailers online without sound or colour, frame by frame, until she sees something that inspires her. Harnett undermines cinematic process - reverting back to storyboards and the merest hint of plot in a film that Harnett probably won’t ever watch in its entirety. By removing them from their film context and reworking them as intricate pencil studies, Harnett focusses on every aspect of pose, light and texture - in many cases emphasising subtle nuances which are lost in the film as a whole. The resultant jewel-like images, a diminutive 2 x 4 inches, suggest a new way of thinking about narrative and new stories that may arise in the viewer’s imagination.
In this exhibition, Harnett has recreated images from cinematic adaptations of historic literary masterworks such as Anna Karenina, 2012 and Great Gatsby, 2013, and contemporary films, including Rush, 2013. As the characters in the work are actors playing fictional personae, there is the doubled recognition of the real person, a thespian in cinematic contextual guise, caught in a drawn image.