Kevin Harman

The Art Collection has been very fortunate to receive assistance to keep growing our collections over the last few years through the kind support of the National Fund for Acquisitions. This fund has allowed us, amongst others, to purchase works by Jacqueline Donachie, Will McLean and Kevin Harman.

We acquired Static Night in 2016. The work came from an exhibition ‘No Man’s Land’ at the Ingleby Gallery in Spring 2016. In a series of intensely physical paintings/objects, Kevin Harman manipulated discarded double-glazing units and found household paints. The window unit, originally designed and manufactured as something to look through, became an object to be looked at.

Born in Edinburgh, Kevin Harman graduated in BA (Hons) Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art which included an international exchange at Kunsthochschule Berlin (2007), then completed an MFA (Sculpture) in 2008-2010, also at ECA.

He lives and works in Edinburgh, has exhibited internationally and is the recipient of several awards including Art Cologne ‘New Positions’ Artist (2013) and The Honda Dream Factory-Cultural Engineer Award Yoma Sasburg Fellowship for Sculpture-Nominee, both in 2011. He is also Advisor at The Art Room charity, in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh.

“I like the viewer to be involved at every level; conceptually, technically and physically”. His work is based on elements of performance, and an engagement with found materials and environments, even if that performance – and the spectator’s role within it – often remains unseen, until revealed by the final object. In what he has described as a desire to “reintroduce people to the real”

Kevin’ work gained prominence / notoriety in 2009 when his Edinburgh College of Art Degree show piece ended up with him being arrested and fined £200 for breaching the peace when he smashed a metal scaffolding pole a window at the Collective Gallery. Was it art or vandalism? in 2016 Harman reignited the debate when he exhibited the broken window and the related correspondence and court papers at the Ingleby Gallery.

Kevin Harman works across various media. In an ongoing series of works (Skips I-XIII, ongoing) he seeks out a skip or dumpster on a Friday night – full of the week’s rubbish from a building site – after the labourers have clocked-off for the weekend. Over the course of the weekend Harman works continuously to sorts and categorises the skip contents by colour and material and carefully returns the contents arranged into beautiful sculptures. Harman says that the point of this endeavour is not just the sculpture that results but the reveal; the moment when the building crew returns on Monday morning to see their, supposedly familiar, environment transformed into something that defies explanation, and which in due course they will have to destroy in order to continue working.

Another project Love Thy Neighbour (2008) saw Harman taking 210 doormats from a small area of Edinburgh to form an installation in the central sculpture court of Edinburgh College of Art, creating ‘a small common crisis to bring the community together, invites were then posted and posters put up around the area to invite the residents down to collect their mats and meet their neighbours’.

Further information about Kevin Harman and his current projects can be found at his website http://www.kevinharman.co.uk/

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