friday art blog: kevin harman -the glass really works

Figure 1 Spectators. Kevin Harman Exhibition. Taken at Ingleby Gallery by Amanda-Jane Wood. 01.05.2021.

On 28th April at the Ingleby Gallery the Kevin Harman exhibition was launched. This exhibition was a display of Harman’s 2018 to 2020 Glassworks. This blog will exclusively commentate on the artworks present at the exhibition. For extensive information on Kevin Harman please find the link at the end of this blog.

Important recaps to highlight from that blog are the use of medium and the artist’s intentions. Harman has been known to upcycle reclaimed materials and produces works of art using that medium. For this instance, he receives double-glazed windows from a company as well as reaches out to another for their mis-tinted house paints. With these two artistic tools he combines them to create a work of art.

How he does this is by filling the gap between the two sheets of glass of the window which he explains to be filled with argon gas. Using this space to fill with the house paint then causes a rection with the gas as well as it already being affected by the expiration of itself. He tilts and flips the window to produce these patterns and designs.

His point in doing this is to bring attention to the window itself as its practicality is to be looked through or past, by turning it into a work of art it has made the window it’s own significant feature.

“My work’s not about giving people the shock – it doesn’t even try to give pleasure. It’s to open people’s eyes and filling them with the awareness of the inherent beauty of things that are around them”.

Cultural Engineer Profile — Kevin Harman, YouTube.
Accessed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlUAQ8X0EQU&ab_channel=HondaVideo.

 

Figure 2 ‘Transcendental Anaesthesia’, 2020. Kevin Harman Exhibition.
Taken at Ingleby Gallery by Amanda-Jane Wood. 01.05.2021.

The exhibition gathered a total of seven of Harman’s works, six were in the first hall and the last was upstairs in the Feast Room.

All works of art featured similar as well as different textures. Some looked like they had been spotted with a paintbrush and some others looked as if brush strokes created the shapes. Even though all the works of arts consisted of the same process they had managed to display very different features. Each artwork consisted of its own beauty but was cohesive with its aesthetic.

I had asked viewers what the “Synthetic Nature Reserve” (2018) made them think of and I received words like “peacock”, “corals and bubbles” and one other commented on the vibrancy of the work. I thought of jellyfish with some of the pieces, so it was interesting to hear others name animals. I saw these as relevant responses considering the title includes ‘Nature’. Harman viewed his work just as the viewers would, the mediums decide the final textures and design – he has not got complete control over the materials once they are combined.

I felt more connected to the artist as I imagined my experience with viewing the artwork may have been like that of Harman’s. With the observing of the shapes, the lines, the textures, and colour he came to the same conclusion his viewers had. As if standing next to the artist himself, sharing the thoughts and appreciation of the depictions appearing within the paint.

Figure 3 ‘Diluting the National Valium’, 2019; ‘Remember to bring me beautiful’, 2019; ‘Rising States’, 2019. Kevin Harman Exhibition 2021. Taken at Ingleby Gallery by Amanda-Jane Wood. 01.05.2021.

This exhibition highlighted not only connecting to the object such as a window but also to the connection with the artist himself. The artist became a part of the artwork, not as a reflection of the work of art but that of the viewer.

The artworks themselves are as beautiful as they are expressive. They weave depictions of tendrils and spotting, evoking all manners of emotion.

To read Sarah Bromage’s blog focussing more on the artist himself please find it here:

Blog post written by Amanda-Jane Wood, a fourth year student at the University of Stirling progressing to achieve the Bachelor of Arts with Honours Art and Design.

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