SOLO EXHIBITION @ SPECTRUM PROJECT SPACE, MOUNT LAWLEY, WA
Hollow Flight is a new body of work that explores our fractured sense of self in an increasingly digital age. The ubiquity of social media and digital workspaces, or the escapism of online gaming and streaming platforms has become mainstream amongst the developed world. Through convenience or sheer proliferation these virtual spaces have infiltrated our corporal lives stretching our professional and personal identity across two worlds. A division that has become unavoidable in a post-humanist era, and a divide that can generate tension and alienation surrounding how we perceive others and ourselves online.
Online platforms like gaming and social media encourage an expectation of excessive connection rewarding users that participate with their communities. The accessibility of these apps facilitates a constant opportunity to connect, relentlessly dividing our time and attention between two spaces (Rosen, 2012 & Turkle, 2011). This pressure to maintain an increasingly online presence can lead to an obsessive relationship between a user and their own digital identity, or with that of others’ (Rosen, 2012 & Turkle, 2011). An Instagram or YouTube personality can sustain a following of millions through a cycle of content-creation and viewership that seemingly feeds both groups simultaneously. When these almost deity-like individual broadcast themselves to such a multitude of anonymous onlookers, it is not difficult to liken this present-day dynamic to that of ancient gods and their worshippers. It is this notion combined with the tension and alienation of a digital age that has inspired this series.
Incorporating symbolism from Greco-Roman, Christian and retro-gaming and iconographies, See has used the painted landscape to explore a journey of large titan-like figures and their anonymous cultish followers. Envisioning an uncertain world of mountains, forests and snaking pathways the artists paints a story of disconnection amongst its inhabitance. The title itself is a reference to the fall of Icarus, a mythical tale that the artist links to the constant mission of online celebrities as they seek to rise in popularity.
Rosen, L. D. (2012). iDisorder: Understanding our obsession with technology and overcoming its hold on us. St Martin’s Press, New York, NY.
Turkle, S. (2011). Alone Together: Why we expect more from technology and less from each other. Basic Books, New York, NY
ARTWORK EXHIBITED AT "PARADISES PARASITE III" @ SPECTRUM PROJECT SPACE, MOUNT LAWLEY, WA
Harrison See’s artworks respond to the unsustainable use of the world’s natural resources with reference to the cross-cultural understanding between Heaven & Earth. These painted and sculptural works speak to the practice of extracting materials from one part of the earth in order to process them in the other; not-unlike the relationship shared between China’s manufacturing capacity and Australia’s mining industry. This need to draw from ‘the old’ that lies below, in order to build upwards with ‘the new’, has inspired a narrative of precarious towers ascending away from their crumbling foundations.
SOLO EXHIBITION @ THE LOBBY, SWANBOURNE, WA
'Urban Tree’ is the fourth solo exhibition by artist Harrison See and represents a painted investigation of the flora within Perth’s urban spaces. Borrowing from real sites in and around Northbridge, See has created fictional landscapes that play with the relationship between natural and man-made features. These scenes exaggerate light and composition of existing spaces, while also removing the human figure to offer a mix of serenity and tension. See’s work is in part a response to his experience of returning home after an extended stay overseas, having a sudden awareness of the relatively small number of trees in Perth’s built up areas.
PHYSICAL MINDFULLNESS OF PAINTING
SOLO EXHIBITION (CLOSING SHOW) @ MUNDARING ART CENTRE (MAC), MUNDARING, WA
Harrison See explores a deeper appreciation for the physical act of painting. He aims to enhance the awareness and mindfulness of his movements by painting with weights, working in residence to create landscapes that respond to the Mundaring environment.
SOLO EXHIBITION (OPEN STUDIOS & MAIN GALLERY SHOW) @ VICTORIA PARK CENTRE FOR THE ARTS, VICTORIA PARK, WA
Weightless is an open studio exhibition showcasing artworks created by Harrison See during his time in residence at the Victoria Park Centre for the Arts. Using ink & water he has produced a series of studies on paper exploring the human figure. Through this unfamiliar and indelible medium, See has experimented with marks, gestures and tone to convey narrative.
Initially taking reference from Classical and Chinese figure painting, See chose to reduce detail creating minimal works sometimes assembled from just a handful of brushstrokes. Simplifying form further See shifted his anatomical focus onto figures draped in loose robes. Initially this offered greater opportunity to construct figures from more minimal and expressive forms. This reduction or exclusion of detail allowed the slightest shift in posture, shape or grouping to contribute to the stories within his studies.
However, after pursing this genderless and culturally non-specific ‘robed figure’, See realised that this approach, coupled with the unpredictable nature of ink, resulted in figures often possessing ‘accidental’ qualities. Seemingly, reducing detail and freeing forms only created greater opportunity for interpretation. Concluding that it was impossible to invent a figure devoid of character or cultural signifiers, See embraced this serendipitous process and instead let stories surface on they own.
TOWER OF MODERN - 当潮之塔
SOLO EXHIBITION (CLOSING SHOW) @ CHINESE EUROPEAN ART CENTRE (CEAC) - 中国欧洲艺术中心, XIAMEN, FUJIAN
As a modern global community, we build higher and higher, ever fighting the challenges set upon us by the laws of nature. Every year as humanity collaborates they reach new limits in engineering, construction techniques and material technologies; literally taking our cities to new heights. Though what it is the true cost of our urban expansion? The 828-meter-high ‘Burj Khalifa’, for example, took over 330,000 cubic meters of concrete and 39,000 metric tonnes of steel . Would these same materials that were invested into such extreme grandeur be better spent on schools or affordable housing? Though it may seem impractical to compare a school to the world famous Burj Khalifa, they are both constructed from the same pool of global resources, yet each serves very different social functions.
When staring in awe at these shrines of human development it is easy to forget that somewhere else there also lies a tower-sized hole; an invisible anti-tower amalgamated from the many sites where resources have been removed from the earth. Therefore, I have illustrated a world where towers and anti-towers exist side-by-side. A place where the connection between these positive and negative structures is not diminished through the use of countless technologies, materials and professions. Instead existing a more direct and primitive relationship between the gathering, processing and assembly of resources. With reference to the cautionary tale ‘The Tower of Babel’ , I have used paint and sculpture to create my own Tower of Modern, generating an ethical discussion of contemporary resource usage.
1. Burj Khalifa Official Website. (n.d.). Atop the Burj Khalifa: Fact Sheet. Retrieved from http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/img/FACT-SHEET.pdf
2. Burke, D. G. (2001). Babel, Tower of. In Metzger, B. M. & Coogan, M. D. (Eds.), The Oxford Guide to People & Places of the Bible. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. (28)
当潮之塔 - 以下由艺术家自述
ARTIST IN RESIDENCE PROGRAM AT THE CHINESE EUROPEAN ART CENTER (CEAC)
The artwork I have created in Xiamen is the continuation of the research I carried out last year in Shanghai (A Cosmopolitan Landscape). As there already existed a strong East/West dichotomy in both historical and contemporary literature, I intentionally made the aim of my 2016 project to discover similarities between Western and Chinese art. As the obvious divergence between these two contrasting aesthetics cannot be denied, it was through a focus on theme and narrative that I identified similarities.
I examined selected paintings of two artists who lived and worked during the same period. The first was Shen Zhou (1427-1509) from Ming Dynasty China, and the second was Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1435-1516) of the Venetian Early-Renaissance. By exploring their works I eventually observed mutual and recurring themes. Perhaps the most predominant of which, was the spiritual dynamic between man, heaven and earth. Although, Christianity (of the Renaissance) and Daoism (of the Ming Dynasty) have different ideas about the specifics of heaven, both strongly associate it with the sky and consider it the home of spiritually enlightened beings. As an extension of this idea, both artists also used mountains as a metaphorical bridge between earth and heaven. A place away from the corporal distractions of mankind, where lone figures could undergo deep contemplation or prayer. This mutuality is perhaps best illustrated when comparing Shen Zhou’s work ‘Poet on a Mountain top’ (ca. 1500), and Bellini’s painting ‘Saint Francis in Ecstasy’ (ca. 1476–78); where both artworks depict a lone robed figure housed within mountainous terrain and separated from distant urban environments. Each figure can be seen staring intensely towards the sky, while obviously disengaged from their physical surroundings. It was this cross-cultural narrative that became the foundation of my 2016 practice-led research, and has now also inspired my 2017 project at CEAC.
During my flight to Xiamen I looked out the window and could not help but notice that through advances in modern technology I was soaring high above the clouds; a place that I had only just concluded was of sacred and spiritual significance in both Western and Chinese tradition. I then asked myself, am I trespassing into the homes of both Daoist and Christian immortals?
When asking myself this question something else quickly entered my thoughts. I remembered reading an ancient cautionary tale about the last time mankind utilised technology to reach the skies. The mythical “Tower of Babel” is a story that describes an ancient city that attempted to erect a tower high enough to reach the heavens. It is written that when God saw this structure he become displeased and confused the builder’s speech, turning one language into many. As the workers could no longer communicate the tower’s construction was eventually abandoned.
With reference to the “Tower of Babel” this exhibition represents my further investigation into cross-cultural narratives. Using paint and sculpture I have illustrated and explored a primitive world of perpetual gathering and construction.
PASSAGE SELF STRANGE
ARTIST COLLECTIVE EXHIBITION @ TURNER GALLERIES, NORTHBRIDGE, WA
New State | Aliesha Mafrici & Harrison See
Aliesha Mafrici - www.alieshamafrici.com
Harrison See - www.harrisonsee.com
Passage Self Strange is an exhibition born out of New State’s interest in the intersection between the ‘figurative’, and the often polarized, ‘abstract’. To cultivate a relationship between these two contrasting visual languages, this artist collective has created a fractured body of work that explores a narrative of shifting circumstance and perspective; A tale of multiple characters interacting within a world of confusion and bewilderment, which is mirrored in its non-linear exposition.
Through marks of ink and paint, glimpses into smaller stories are revealed that offer meaning only in part, all the while these works gravitate around a central story from an unstable and incomplete standpoint. At the core of this exhibition lies an existentialist discussion; a discussion that the artists invite the audience to explore.
PARADISE'S PARASITE - 寄生者
JOINT EXHIBITION @ HUJIANG GALLERY - (沪江画廊), SHANGHAI
Artists: Lianxi Zhang / Brenton Rossow / Harrison See / Darren Tynan
艺术家: 张连喜 / 罗素 / 习海瑞 / 迪伦
‘Paradise’s Parasite’ is a collaborative exhibition by four mixed media artists, who have been drawn to Australia and China by love and fate. Their mission is to share a world and its creatures scarred by the gluttony of a poisonous feast.
展览“寄生者” 是由三位来自澳大利亚与一位来自中国的艺术家因为共同理想而协作完成的联 合展览，他们将展示的是一个因为人类贪婪而伤痕累累的世界。
UNSTABLE EARTH SKY - 动荡天地
SERIES OF WORKS EXHIBITED AT PARADISES PARASITE
This series of paintings was created as a reaction to the unsustainable and wasteful practices of modern urban spaces. Tall pieces of loose canvas have been used to describe four restless locations, each featuring a stretched-out form that has selected these sites as their foundations. Although these monolithic shapes sit in visual contrast to their surroundings, all is enveloped by layers of toxic colour. As each form strains upwards towards the top of the frame tension is created between earth and sky.
THEY REST IN THE GARDEN OF STONE
COMMISSION FOR 'STATIONS OF THE CROSS
WESLEY CHURCH' PERTH, W.A. & GERELDTON REGIONAL ART GALLERY, GERELDTON, W.A.
To me, Christ’s contact with the stranger ‘Simon of Cyrene’ signifies a narrative of burden; a burden of both mind and body transferred from one individual to the next. When exploring this idea I focused on key roles within such an exchange. As these roles are carried out, either through choice or obligation, the individuals within this exchange have the opportunity to grow stronger or weaker from their experiences. For it is in this Station that Simon gains strength by relieving Christ of his burden, receiving the gift of faith after his experiences that day, while those issuing such a punishment gained nothing.
Whether it be with good intentions or otherwise, we have all been in the position of one of these characters. Either issuing burden onto others or upon ourselves, we have the opportunity to perceive a burden as a challenge, identifying what can be gained from our dealings with hardship. By reinterpreting this narrative without obvious Christian iconography this work encourages a discussion beyond a biblical context, exploring the notion that adversity may yield unexpected rewards.
ABOUT 'STATIONS OF THE CROSS'
"Wesley Uniting Church in the City, one of Perth’s oldest and most iconic churches, is pleased to introduce you to the forthcoming 2017 Stations of the Cross Art Exhibition. Proudly supported by the City of Perth, the Exhibition has become an annual tradition for Wesley Uniting Church and also a significant event within the Art Community.
Running for the 8th year, the Exhibition is curated by Claire Bushby and will feature newly commissioned artworks by fifteen Western Australian contemporary artists. The artists, representing some of our finest creative talent, have been invited to participate in this year’s event which features newly created artworks, specially commissioned for the show. The fifteen artworks correspond to the traditional story of Easter and the ritual of the 'Stations of the Cross'. While pertaining to a religious narrative, participating artists each interpret a single 'station' through their personal and unique understanding of Easter and the human experiences and themes that underlie it.
This year, the commissioned artists - who hail from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds - were asked to focus on the embodiment of humanity within their works and to engage in interfaith dialogue by exploring universal human experiences such as loss, grief, oppression and mortality. Through a variety of art forms - including painting, sculpture, and textiles - the exhibition bridges between sacred stories and the issues and events that are present in our contemporary world." (Wesley Uniting Church Official Website, 2017)
ARTWORK EXHIBITED @ GOMBOC GALLERY, MIDDLESWAN, WA
This sculptural work represents a three-dimensional diagram of the socio-economic class structures that run deep throughout modern consumer culture. The stylised Gothic arch supports a group of suspended and unadorned sarcophagi, each having been individually carved and cast out of concrete. The aim of this work, is to draw a parallel between ancient class systems and the economic struggles of contemporary working class Australians. With reference to Marxist theory, I have composed these tiered rows of burial cases to suggest that the members within this system will all ultimately return to an equal 'value'.
A COSMOPOLITAN LANDSCAPE
HONOURS THESIS ABSTRACT
This creative honours project is a practice-led investigation into the painted figural landscape, particularly with the aim of identifying and exploring mutuality within the enduring artistic traditions of Chinese and Western painting. Informing this cross-cultural analysis is a deep engagement with the ‘figure in the landscape’ artworks of Giovanni Bellini and Shen Zhou; both painters chosen to represent their respective artistic traditions’. To support this search for mutuality this project was equipped with a Stoic Cosmopolitan perspective designed to facilitate cross-cultural understanding. Using this theoretical perspective and an informed understanding of these two artists practices’, a series of painted studies was produced for contemporary Western and Chinese audiences. The key theme of these studies revealed itself in the form of a common narrative that was found to exist within both artistic traditions. This narrative talked of a universal tension experienced by individuals when caught between physical and spiritual spaces.
for further reading:
A Cosmopolitan Landscape: Development of a body of paintings that explore and expand upon the shared tropes of figuration in the work of Giovanni Bellini and Shen Zhou - http://ro.ecu.edu.au/theses_hons/1490/
THE NATURE OF WANTING
SOLO EXHIBITION @ STUDIO 281, MAYLANDS, WA
‘The Nature of Wanting’ is a body of work that addresses the unsustainable consumption of the human race. As a species people continuously process resources of social, environmental and economic value with little regard for the future. Materials are extracted, refined and transformed into fleeting 'objects of desire'. Though a face-paced lifestyle only encourages a focus on the final product, their consumers have become detached from the process that created them. Resulting in a reduced appreciation between these 'objects of desire' and the methods used to create them. A disassociation that contributes to a wasteful attitude towards both labour and environmental resources.
This exhibition explores human body as a machine that seeks out and consumes through unsustainable resource gathering processes. Representing all 'objects of desire' is a small stepped pyramid that appears in several of the works. Whether through representation or suggestion, human presence provides context and narrative for this pyramid to generate discussion of humanity’s consumption habits.
GRADUATE SHOWCASE @ EDITH COWAN UNIVERSITY, MOUNT LAWLEY WA
Modern day visual culture requires viewers to navigate through a sea of attention-seeking disposable media, where advertising confronts individuals at every turn creating a polluted space of unwanted imagery. The ability to reproduce pictures infinity has created a visual noise that is to be endured by anyone attempting to use any digital device. It is this replication that is discussed in these works works, where I have used paint to illustrate a world of disposable figures operating within unstable and abstract landscapes. In these spaces figures are shown at the end of their cycle, often confronted with their successor; a metaphor for the use and replication of fast-paced digital media.