“I develop my ideas through Interactive research which in turn facilitates conversation. This allows me to develop work through a process of doing, whilst engaging with others by discussing subjects I feel passionately about and vice versa.”
“Art is a medium through which we all gain understanding of the world around us, and our place within it. As we begin transitioning out of lockdown, I’m interested to observe the impact that the pandemic will have inevitably had, on the art we see in the future.”
Silversmith, Jeweller, Baker
BA (Hons) Jewellery Design and Silversmithing
Glasgow School of Art
“My art practice is driven by a desire to share my work and perspective with others. I explore the relationships that lie between craft, ecology, community and well-being by engaging with themes related to The Slow Food Movement. Additionally, I draw visual inspiration from Dutch still life paintings, which often depict perishables, such as bread, as a reminder of life’s fleetingness- a subtle reminder to stay present and value that which lives now.
I develop my ideas through Interactive research which in turn facilitates conversation. This allows me to develop work through a process of doing, whilst engaging with others by discussing subjects I feel passionately about and vice versa.
This conversation reflects the source of inspiration that initially led me to make tableware: working at a bakery in the Southside of Glasgow, witnessing the exchanges and relationships that occurred over the breaking of bread.
For the development of my 2019 degree show collection Memento Vivere, I explored such conversations by hosting events including: The Artists’ Dinner, The Makers’ Lunch and a collaborative workshop titled Breaditation. Each of these experiences provided a rich source of inspiration, embedding key ideas that I continue to build upon in my current work.
Bread was at the heart of these events, each of which explored it from a different angle through the act of making, and/or of sharing, this ancient food. Doing this highlighted its social, environmental and political, significance for me, making it a relevant material in which to work.
Elements, such as A Full Slice from my Memento Vivere collection, are made from bread I have baked, electroformed and silver plated. The use of precious materials function to highlight the value of such everyday commodities.”
Materials and Techniques
“My work uses a variety of materials and techniques. I tend to work with natural materials, previously foodstuffs including bread and cabbage, which I cast or electroform into metals or ceramics, converting them into permanent objects that I transform into tableware pieces. I also use silversmithing techniques to forge elements of my work, sometimes combined with the use of enamel, to add colour and vibrancy. I enjoy using various methods of making to explore design ideas, continually learning from the process: a conversation between maker and material.”
Awards, Exhibitions and News
“After graduating in 2019, I began a year long artist-in-residence at The Glasgow School of Art. Unfortunately this ended prematurely due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Prior to this, I exhibited at The Great Northern Contemporary Craft Fair, completed a week-long internship with silversmith Clive Burr at The Goldsmiths’ Centre, London, where I also took part in a week-long business course culminating in an exhibition. Furthermore, this year I carried out a residency at Cove Park, Scotland, and throughout lockdown have contributed work to a growing project, named Grapevine, that will exhibit in Spring, 2021.
Harriet’s Cove Park Residency was part of the New Makers’ support programmed and selected by Fife Contemporary.”
“Lockdown hasn’t been without its difficulties. Many active projects and future plans have been temporarily, or permanently, suspended. The experience has proved to be a lesson in patience and acceptance for me. As unexpected changes have occurred, practising presence has helped me move more fluidly through the daily challenges and fluctuations.
The residency I completed at Cove Park was very timely, happening the week prior to the UK’s lockdown. Unknowingly at the time, the ideas that I was cultivating and exploring there, would support me throughout the transition into our new societal ‘norms’, brought about by the pandemic. During my time at Cove Park, I investigated how slowing down can lead to a more conscious existence that encourages a healthier, and more mindful, relationship with both our food and our local communities. I see synchronicities between these ideas and the lockdown. Many of our usual activities became impossible, as did our familiar pace of life. The pandemic caused an involuntary change to our typical rhythm, freeing-up time for many people to explore these ideas for themselves. Many people across the UK engaged in activities such as bread making and gardening. I think this is telling of our instinctual nature to engage with our food and the landscape it comes from as a means for grounding ourselves at times when we feel disconnected.
Upon completing my residency I felt ready to share the Breaditation workshop I’d developed over my time there, although, it quickly became apparent this would not be immediately possible. Fortunately however, I feel the experience at Cove Park prepared and aided me to move more freely, and creatively, through the challenges brought about by the lockdown. Under the new circumstances, it felt right to engage in projects that were a direct reaction to the current situation.
Throughout lockdown I’ve completed several creative projects, each of which involved multiple people and frequently took the format of daily creative ‘challenges’, such as making drawings from words, or making jewellery using found-materials at home. Grapevine is a project I’m particularly happy to have participated in. It compromises over 100 contributing artists, all specialising in different disciplines. The concept of Grapevine is similar to that of Chinese Whispers: One artist is sent an image to use as inspiration to make an art piece. Once completed, a photo of their creation is then sent to the next artist, which informs their art piece, and so it continues. Each person has one week to complete their contribution and never sees the artworks made before them, bar the one to be made directly ahead of them in the chain. This project is ongoing and will culminate in an unveiling exhibition in Spring 2021.
It has been inspiring to see the art projects that have arisen out of the constraints of lockdown. I have been reminded of the resourceful and encouraging nature of creative communities as they’ve turned to online platforms, such as instagram and facebook. Initiatives such as the Artists Support Pledge have formed online communities that beautifully demonstrate the power and resilience of people working collectively. This reiterates the importance of collaboration, which during my time on the residency, I had aimed to demonstrate.
Art is a medium through which we all gain understanding of the world around us, and our place within it. As we begin transitioning out of lockdown, I’m interested to observe the impact that the pandemic will have inevitably had, on the art we see in the future. “