Harold Sharp was introduced to Spiritualism in the late 1920’s after visiting Arthur Conan Doyle’s psychic museum and bookshop in Westminster. He developed his mediumship and became well known from the 1940’s for creating circular drawings he called auragraphs. These were symbolic drawings representing a person’s life – past, present and potential, and created from interpreting their aura. After the drawing was completed, the medium would be entranced whilst his guide, Chan Shih, would inform the sitter of the drawing’s meaning.
In 1943 Psychic News published the following account of his work which stated:
Harold Sharp has developed a new phase of his mediumship. It is automatic drawing and colouring, the latest stage being the production of graphs of the human aura executed in delicate colouring and intricate but rhythmic designs. These are produced at high speed by the medium who has never had an art lesson and cannot normally draw.
By means of his clairvoyance, Sharp has seen the spirit artist who is responsible for this new development. He is Chan Shih, a young modern Chinese man of about 30 years old. This Chinese man had often been described to Sharp by other mediums, but until these drawings began he did not know of the reason for the spirit association. In years gone by Harold Sharp discovered that when telephoning his friends he used to doodle on the pad or scrap of paper. Then he noticed that, instead of being meaningless scribbling, he had drawn symbolic designs, some so beautiful that he was loath to destroy them.
In February 1942 he received as a gift a large notebook with plain pages, expertly bound and with gold lettering. The medium thought this was just the thing for his favourite quotations. Soon after he was about to record the much-loved pearls of wisdom on the first page, when his pen began to weave discernible fascinating vignettes of caves, waterfalls and woodland vistas. These were repeated again and again, the designs taking definite shape and obviously containing hidden meanings. Sometimes in the quietness of his seance room Sharp would receive clairaudiently the interpretation of the sketches. Now, Sharp merely sits quietly, thinks of his guide and receives these coloured representations of the aura.
He is not in trance during this form of mediumship, but he never knows what the result will be. Sometimes he begins at the middle of the sheet, other times in one corner. The colours are done first and then the ink drawing is superimposed. Even the most intricate auragraphs are executed usually in about an hour. The speediest has been 20 minutes and the largest, an auragraph of thousands of closely packed lines, took an hour and 20 minutes. The largest measures 26 inches by 14 inches The most recent results are in circular form with diameter of about 10 inches. He possesses about hundred ink sketches and 30 coloured graphs. He is quite convinced that these drawings do not originate in his subconscious mind.