Put together, the words ‘love and rage’ are used as a popular signature of solidarity, promising compassion and defiant action, arguably warranted amongst today's crises. These contradictions can at times be seen in the creative process, captured in the dedication of making and the rage and drive to speak.
Armstrong pays homage to the myth of Medusa by creating a shrine installation to this anti-heroine. ‘Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned' - William Congreve 1697. Demonised for her beauty by those that desired her, punished for being a victim of rape, then vilified as a monster, never to be looked at again and feared by men, Medusa’s story scarily echoes the misogynistic realities of today.
Harris’s towering charcoal palm tree speaks of the moment before destruction, a freeze-frame from our convoluted fight for survival. Her works can seem vast and confrontational, revealing moments of manufactured violence that radically disrupt the landscape. In contradiction she inscribes a sentence in tiny lettering climbing up the staircase - easily overlooked by the passer by.
In Harrison’s ‘Instruments of hope’ series, the bright joy of Kite making and flying is fiercely matched with the use of monochrome plastic bags and militant like design. The indoor installation, portrays a strain between the hope of flight and breaking away, and the fury of imprisonment.
Whether through mythological critique of a modern social tension, or a singular anthropologically significant moment, or through our psychological relationship with a simple object, each artist is exploring a moment of tension, where two states are paused, momentarily equal, before the impact of one destroys the other.
Henrietta Armstrong is a multimedia artist influenced by archaeology and anthropology. Whilst fabricating archaeological artefacts and relics, she looks at the ceremonial practices that could be applied to them, considering rituals from the past and future. Looking at defunct technologies and structures she digitally alters their forms to create futuristic totems. She most recently completed the Pendle Hill Summit Stones, a permanent public sculpture commission, creating a series of 12 sculptures that are sited around the Trig Point of Pendle Hill in Lancashire - Commissioned by Pendle Hill Landscape Partnership & In-Situ.
www.henriettaarmstrong.com / @henri_armstrong
Kirsty Harris’s solo exhibition A Foul and Awesome Display is showing at Vane Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne until 28th September 2019. She has shown work extensively in group exhibitions - most recently, Field Study: The Auxiliary Warehouse, Middlesbrough (2019). Her work is held in private and public collections internationally including The National Atomic Testing Museum, Nevada, USA.
www.kirstyharris.com / @kirsty_harris_art
Hayley Harrison’s work examines our disconnection with ‘nature’ and each other - via discarded materials, text, performance, and video. Her work has been selected for the Creekside Open 2019, and in 2018 her work was selected by the White Pube for the ‘OUTPOST Members Show’ (Norwich) and by Tessa Garland and Sophie Hill for ‘Visions in the Nunnery’ at Nunnery Gallery (London). Harrison lives and works in London, and delivers socially engaged projects informed by themes within her practice.www.hayleyharrison.co.uk / @hayley_harrison_