Samuel Benjamin Harris: Strawberry Red Exhibition & Silent Auction at D’Arry’s Liquor Loft

Samuel Benjamin Harris ‘Strawberry Red’ Art exhibition & silent auction


September, 2016

D’Arry’s Liquor Loft,
2-4 King St,

Ellen bumped into Sam at an open mic night at D’Arry’s months ago and sent him a short film that Enchanted Cinema showed before The Blues Brothers this summer. He used the final scene of the short, City Sickness as inspiration for the final painting in his series currently on exhibition at D’Arry’s Liquor Loft. Jonnie Howard (JHFilm)’s great short set in Cambridge is a contemporary tale of love in the digital age. Watch Jonnie’s film here and have a look at the painting just over head to see what Sam painted after watching it, inspired by a certain red dress. The title of the painting: Goodbye in Spanish.

This is what happened when Ellen and Sam had a drink at the same spot they met and chatted about Sam’s Strawberry Red Exhibition Goodbye in Spanish part of.

E: The first question has to be: why red?
S: It all started right here on the terrace (of D’Arry’s Liquor Loft). I was sitting in the sun waiting to have a chat with the guys here about their Monday Open Mic Night. Right there (points to the the table opposite us) a mum and daughter were sitting having a drink. The mum had a strawberry garnish that looked ab-so-lutely perfect on her cocktail. It’s going to sound silly, but then time slowed down. I had one of those moments of  revelation as she put the strawberry in her mouth and the red madness started.

E: The Red Madness?
S:You know like in 102 Dalmations where Glen Close as Cruella de Ville loses it and starts seeing spots all over the shop? That’s how it was for me once that strawberry moment happened. It got me wanting to paint all things red.That’s where it started and it all came together pretty quickly, it didn’t take for D’Arry’s to get excited and for me to get painting.

E: Let’s chat about the opening night last month…
S: So it was big and is exactly why we’ve put together a closing night on Thursday the 29th. So for the opening we had themed cocktails (namely Strawberry Fire). A dress code: everyone in something red. I really wanted this exhibition to be a little bit more than your average art exhibition. I’ve never liked the idea of my art being somewhere where people stand around looking at art hung on white walls, making polite comments. Emile (Child of Chief) is an old friend and a serious talent with a whole lotta soul! It just made sense for him to perform at the opening. Wanted to make this more fun and throw a spanner in the works. That’s how the silent auction idea came about.

E: So what’s the deal with the silent auction, why did you choose it over having a price tag on each painting?
S: It’s not something I’d usually do but for this exhibition I wanted to try something different. I wanted to make my art affordable and most of all accessible! People have said to me ‘I’d love to have one of your paintings but I can’t afford it’. The whole silent auction thing means that anyone can put in a bid at whatever price. Maybe they’ll be outbid, maybe they won’t. Either way it involves everyone and it’s all a bit of fun. And, this way, they’ll all go. They’ll all, every single one, be sold to people who really like and want the work. That’s what it’s all about.

E: And the bids can be made whenever?
S: Whenever D’Arry’s is open, bidding’s on! (bidding closes at 11PM 29/09) I tell you what I like, I like the idea of people having their morning coffee, glass of wine after work, breakfast, lunch whatever. I love the idea of them munching and sipping and imagining them looking up and seeing on of my Strawberry Red paintings, taking a liking to it and popping a piece of paper into the silent auction box because they can imagine it hanging in their kitchen or their mum’s study or wherever.

E: In Enchanted Cinema news… You’ll be painting a series for EC’s Christmas Screenings. 4 words to describe this project:
S: Yes! Excited for this.

E: Back to the Strawberry Red Exhibition, how long have we got to get our bids in?
S: The closing night is on the 29th of this month. I’ve called this event at D’Arry’s Liquor Loft ‘Cherry on Top’ as I’ve whisked up a final painting that will be part of the auction for the final night only. Child of Chief will be playing again, there’ll be cheeky cherry cocktails added to the menu for the evening, and a whole lot of Cambridge art for you to bid on.

So, get your red glad rags out and head to D’Arry’s on Thursday evening for live music, cocktails & your last chance to bid on one of Cambridge’s Samuel Benjamin Harris’s Strawberry Red paintings. Good luck!


Samuel Benjamin Harris art exhibition cambridge D'Arry's