A Matter of Light…

Form from motion, sparkling and luminous.

Artist Pat Fairhead has spent decades capturing the beauty of what is all around us, from the stark and primeval majesty of Arctic glaciers, to the rhapsodic colours and textures of the Muskoka landscape, to the lush, heady beauty of England’s Sissinghurst gardens, and the compelling, hypnotic nature of Haida Gwaii.

She records nature, in its myriad contexts and colours, from calm, deep wells of secluded beauty, to cascading images shaped by the forces of wind, water and ice.

“I was born in Hull, Yorkshire, England, and came to Canada at the age of ten. I fell in love with the Canadian landscape. My life is first my art, but also camping, canoe tripping, hiking, photographing, sketching and drawing – all to take back to the studio. The Arctic, vast bare, loaded, powerful, soaring black rock face, glaciers hundreds of feet high bursting into the sea, desolation, isolation, a million miles of vacancy. Always I have been fascinated by water, dipping the paddle into the lake or the sea, icebergs, waterfalls. The exquisite sensation of being in a place where I can say to myself, ‘I may be the only person who has ever stopped here’.

I’ve been nine times to the high Arctic, paddled the west coast of British Columbia, camped in the Amazon rainforest, hiked the back country of Australia. I’ve done Namibia, Botswana, South Africa, Egypt, Europe, New Zealand and on and on. I am known as an innovator, a colourist, always pushed the edge, to see what I could do. I love transparent vibrant colour, beautiful papers and big sizes. The thrill and challenge of painting a five-foot piece of paper is my idea of cloud nine.”

Solo Exhibitions (Selected)

Pat Fairhead @90, Arts & Letters Club, Toronto, 2017
Festival of the Sound, Parry Sound, ON, 2015
The Collector’s Gallery, Calgary, AB, 2012
Agora Gallery, Chelsea, New York, 2011
Upstairs at 111 Bathurst St., Toronto, ON 2011
Trias Gallery, Toronto, ON 2008, 2012
Gallery One, Toronto, ON 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003
Roberts Gallery, Toronto, ON 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996
Chancery Gallery, Bracebridge, ON 2008, 2009
Thielsen Gallery, London, ON 1987, 1991, 2001
Harbour Gallery, Mississauga, ON 1993, 1995, 1997
Wallace Galleries, Calgary, AB 1996
Mabey Gallery, Richmond,Virginia, USA 1992, 1993, 1996
Lydon Fine Art Inc., Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1992
Fraser Galleries, Halifax, Nova Scotia 1991
Gallery 1667, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 1998
The Arts and Letters Club, Toronto, ON 1987, 2004, 2008
Queen Charlotte Islands Museum, British Columbia 1986
Wells Gallery, Ottawa, ON 1985
Jacox Gallery, Edmonton, AB 1969
Pollock Gallery, Toronto, ON 1981
Sobot Gallery, Toronto, ON 1966, 1967



Master of Arts: Goddard College, Vermont, U.S.A., 1975
Master of Education: Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, Department of Adult Education, 1973
The Ontario College of Art (now OCADU), 1947


Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University) – Proficiency Prize
A.J. Casson Medal for Excellence in Watercolour, C.S.P.W.C., Oct 2011
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – Fellowship
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education – Research Grant for Learning Environments


Royal Canadian Academy of Art, elected 1993
Ontario Society of Artists, elected 1986
The Arts and Letters Club of Toronto, elected 1985 – charter member
Canadian Society of Painters in Watercolour, elected 1966
Society of Canadian Artists, founding member and past president, 1960

Represented By

Harbour Gallery
1697 Lakeshore Rd. West
Mississauga, ON  L5J 1J4

Britton Gallery
169 Manitoba Street
Bracebridge, ON  P1L 1S3