What Inspired the Harlequin Series?


It's a sunny day in July 1990 and I am sailing across the bustling Venetian Lagoon en-route to the magnificent city of Venice. Stepping off the ferry, and after a short walk I was soon standing surrounded by the glorious Piazza San Marco. With the Doge's Palace to the right of me, St Marks Basilica in front with its towering campanile towering above us, I remember being astounded by its grandeur and architectural beauty. Although I was only 9 years old in 1990, the memories of this trip to Venice has stayed strong with me all my life. This happy time is the sole inspiration behind the Harlequin Series of Illustrated letters.

Venturing out from Piazza San Marco we spent many happy hours meandering through the bustling side streets of this wonderful place. With the lagoon winding in and out of the city in the form of narrow canals it I the most effective way to get around. Sadly the exorbitant cost of a gondola ride forced us to take the decision to navigate by foot. It is a city of contrasts with a rich and fascinating history. Walking around the city there is so many sites to see, and the beauty of it is you don't know what thing of beauty is at the end of each street or around every corner. It is an architectural and historical wonder located in the heart of a lagoon. In my view its the closest any one of us can get to the setting of a fairy-tale.

As I mentioned it is a city of contrasts, you can see that it the types of terrain, stonework, and people. Its outwardly appearance it of grandeur, decorative pattern and texture, richness, and kinetic energy. So how does all that influence me to create The Harlequin Series?

No matter where you turn you will see shops and street vendors selling masks of all kinds of shapes, sizes and colours. These elaborate masks are an important feature of the Venetian Carnival. Venetian masks can be made from glass, leather, or porcelain. A more common for of mask is make of gesso with gold leaf, feathers and plastic gems. Traditionally, Venetian were permitted to wear their masks for lengthy periods and could disguise themselves from others for great periods of time. For the Harlequin range, this is were I drew my inspiration. Taking elements found on a Venetian mask I used them to decorate every letter of the alphabet. As each mask is different, with their own qualities and character, so does every letter in the Harlequin Range. I hope you enjoy our new range just as much as I did creating it. The brief I created for myself was to create each letter by infusing them with the spirit of the Venice Carnival and the thrilling tales of Giacomo Casanova.

Please visit the brand new ReClick Photo Shop to see the Harlequin Range in all its decorative and exuberant glory, please visit www.reclickphoto.co.uk/shop. Each letter is available is a whole range of sizes and mounting options. Would you like one framed and ready to hang on your wall? Well look no further, Here at ReClick Photo we offer a range of framing options available. Each is professionally framed to order, enhancing your choice of print and making it ready to become a welcomed feature on the wall of your home or workplace. With prints starting from as little as £3.95 for an 8” x 8” print, the Harlequin Series is available in a series of products catering for every budget.

Thanks for reading!

Hugh at ReClick Photo.