Approved: 02.01.2011

Rebecca D. Harris

Artist, Teacher, Researcher

Approved: 02.01.2011

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.

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  • Location: Launceston, South West
  • Activities: Higher education, Further education, Adult education, Lecturing, Practice-based research, Workshops
  • Categories: Drawing, Research, Sculpture, Textiles
  • Tags: soft sculpture, affect, comedy, textiles, fabric, body, visceral, science, embroidery
 
 

News

     

    Biography

    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.

    CV & Education

    education

    2011-13 , MA in Contemporary Art Practice, Plymouth University

    2010-11, BA (hons) first class, Fine Art Practices, Plymouth College of Art

    2009-10, PGCE (PCET inc. DTTLS), Cornwall College

    2007, Graduate Diploma of Higher Education in Religious Studies (and other courses), Open University

    2003, FdA Fine Art Practice, Cornwall College (first year)

     

    collections & commissions

    Eden Project Human Microbiome public commission funded by the Wellcome Trust

    Various artworks in private collections across the UK, Australia and New York

     

    exhibitions

    2015 - 'The Game of Consequences' The Exchange, Penzance (forthcoming)

    2015 - 'Maps', Scene, London (forthcoming)

    2015 - 'Invisible You: the Human Microbiome' - permanant public exhibition at the Eden Project (forthcoming)

    2013-14, 'Emergent' Faculty of Arts master degree show, University of Plymouth

    2013, 'Nonsense', O3 Gallery, Oxford Castle, Oxford

    2013 , 'MA Contemporary Art Practice MA Show', Plymouth University

    2013, 'Weight Stigma and Health' exhibition & poster presentation, Birmingham University

    2013, 'Body Modification & the Female Body' exhibition & research paper delivered at York University

    2012-13,  'any place that invites me in' group show at 101 Artspace, Plymouth University

    2012, 'Summer Show' at Plymouth University

    2012,  'Bread & Roses' at Motorcade Flash Parade, Bristol

    2011, 'Dwelling' solo show at 101 ArtSpace, Plymouth University

    2011, 'Still Life' solo show at Steele Gallery, Falmouth

    2011, 'Best of Summer Showcase' and 'Degree Show', Plymouth College of Art

    2011, 'HerStory', Winchester

    2009, 'Freedom', Forge Mill Museum, Redditch

    2009, Open Studio, Goldsithney, Cornwall

    2009, Jersey Textile Showcase

     

    employment

    2012-15, Visiting lecturer at Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth University

    2009-10, PGCE placement on FdA Fine Art Textiles, Cornwall College

    2009-10, Lecturer in textiles, Cornwall College

    2003, Lecturer in art & design, Penwith College

    2005-8, Teacher, mentor and teaching assistant at Humphry Davy secondary school

    2003, Lecturer in art and design at Penwith College

     

    competitions, awards & funding

    2015, 'Revealing with Textiles' - Grants for the Arts, Arts Council

    2015, Funded commission from the Wellcome Trust via the Eden Project

    2013, Equality and Diversity Faculty of Arts grant, University of Plymouth

    2009, 'Transformation' at the Jersey Textile Showcase

    2009, 'Freedom', shortlisted artist for the Charles Henry Foyle Trust Award, Redditch

     

    conference contributions & publications

    2015, 'The Politics of Size: Perspectives from the Fat Acceptance Movement' ed. Ragen Chastain (Praeger - an imprint of ABC-CLIO, LLC), pp. 55-70

    2013, Plymouth University's annual postgraduate society conference, Skin Deep' poster presentation 

    2013, 'Weight Stigma and Health' conference, 'Skin Deep' poster presentation, Birmingham University

    2013, ‘Body Modification and the Female Body’ conference, ‘Skin Deep: the skin as repository’, University of York

    2012, ‘The Home & the World’ conference, 'Home: our corner of the world', Dartington Hall

     

    conferences attended

    2013, 'Hot Topics on Obesity - 13th Annual Symposium, Plymouth University

    2012, 'Through the writings of Louise Bourgeois' at Courtald Institute of Fine Art

    2012, ‘Making Space: Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process’ conference at Slade PhDs University College London