1926 - 2015
Ted Harrison was born in the mining village of Wingate, County Durham, England in 1926, and received his classical art education in Hartlepool College. After three years army service abroad he returned to England in 1948 and completed his art studies before earning a teachers certificate at Durham University.
After a 7-year teaching stint in Middlesbrough he took teaching posts in Malaysia and New Zealand, subsequently moving to Alberta before settling in the Yukon in 1968. It was the Yukon which pointed him in a new direction in his philosophy and art. The vast beauty of its landscape inspired him to push beyond traditional boundaries and produce canvases of brilliant colours and undulating lines to capture the brilliance of northern life in a unique style.
From his base in Whitehorse, he received international acclaim, including a New York Times award in 1986, and he was named to the Order of Canada in 1987. His unique vision of northern life was incorporated into the design of the Yukon pavilion at Expo 1986. He also produced seven widely read illustrated children’s books.
Harrison moved to Victoria in 1993 and soon became an active member of the Victoria Sketch Club,in which he is fondly remembered for his comradeship, storytelling and contributions to the Club’s annual exhibitions. He regularly took part in Victoria’s Moss Street paint-ins and his frequent visits to local schools made him extremely popular with children. In 2008, he was named to the Order of British Columbia, which recognized his generous contributions to charity through donated art works. His work is in private collections around the world.
Ted Harrison died in Victoria in 2015.