Rebecca D. Harris

Rebecca D. Harris

Artist, Teacher, Researcher

The body is my obsession; in particular how it is perceived both medically and socially.  This fascination starts with my own physical and psychological experiences in the social and medical worlds.  I am interested in how it can be discerned by what cannot be seen.  Socially, for example, how a fat body is a conduit to assumptions made of that person’s history and behaviour, and medically, how we can explore what science brings to our attention that is not possible through the naked eye.  Collectively, the social may lead to biomedical interventions to alter the body, for example weight-loss and cosmetic surgeries, and how knowledge gained from science about the body alters and impacts on the way we ‘see it’.  My artworks, be it drawings, sculpture or textiles, play with the visible and invisible, and the inside and outside of the body.  Often, there is an amalgamation, or rather juxtaposition, of hard ‘man’ made objects with soft ‘female’ crafts and objects.


I aim for my work to be conceptually, visually and physically engaging with the viewer.  For which there is often a visceral reaction to the pieces, this affective potential between artwork and viewer varies from person to person as the power of affect is that you cannot dictate in what ways others will be affected.  In some cases, there is a compelling reaction to touch the work, let out an impulsive laugh or be repelled from it.  The obsession with the body therefore does not stop with the created artworks, as I am very interested in how the viewer’s body then interacts with the work and how this level of affect, especially with textiles, can enhance audience engagement.

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Location Launceston, South West
Activities Higher education, Further education, Adult education, Lecturing, Practice-based research, Workshops
Artforms / type of project Drawing, Research, Sculpture, Textiles
Tags soft sculpture, affect, comedy, textiles, fabric, body, visceral, science, embroidery