Catherine Orr, South County Dublin Arts Officer in 2005 in her response to Anne Harkin- Petersen’s at the opening of ‘Font’ a group exhibition by three artists Ann O’Mahony, Elaine Grimman, and Anne Harkin Petersen and remarked
‘It really is a remarkable exhibition – deeply thought provoking and moving.
In Anne Harkin Petersen’s case the concept of humanity and how to articulate that visually seems to be a central artistic concern. Anne’s work is based on an exploration of form and colour as an expression of our development as human beings, our struggle to fulfil our deep desire to be truly human. The title of her superb small tempera on board works, ‘ Becoming and Being’ could not be more clear in this regard.
Finding the essence/ source/ font of what it is to be human, requires, of course, a great degree of self reflection and mediation and I thing you will agree that Anne’s marvellously contemplative painting here ‘Originarius’ ( Let us Spring Forth) captures that sense entirely. This sense of contemplation may in a large part arise from Anne’s method of working which involves a deeply intuitive response to the juxtapositions of colours, shapes or marks during the process of painting.
There really is a strong quietness about the piece and I was taken in immediately. When I first saw it I blinkered myself with my hands so that only it was in my field of vision. I was immediately plunged into its pensive blue depths drawn in my thoughts towards its luminous portals- quiet like the wonderful feeling of peace, silence and safety when swimming underwater towards a light source on the surface. Such a state can only be conducive to self- discovery, a discovery perhaps represented by the vessel depicted in the central panel of the triptych, which might refer to a source of font of self knowledge’