That Lethal Cloud, Kirsty Harris
3rd - 24th June 2023
Open: Wed-Sat 12:30-5:30pm
Private view: Friday 2nd June, 5:30-7:30pm
Kirsty Harris investigates the British nuclear testing programme in her solo exhibition That Lethal Cloud at Studio KIND.
Harris’ complicated relationship with the subject stems from her childhood, where weekends were spent alongside her family trawling through muddy fields to chant and sing 'Ban the Bomb and there is beauty and brutality to be found in the work. Ultimately the audience carries their own presentiments into the space, activating the work with their lived lives.
Long wooden poles prop up massive machine-woven tapestries developed from the oil paintings she spent countless hours poring over. By introducing the imagery of the mushroom cloud into the complicated tradition of tapestries (as historical documents/propaganda tools) she creates an intriguing spectacle, and this contemplation on a split second encompasses the craft, the catastrophic event and the meditative result, all vying for attention.
Inky oil paintings, on tempered glass tables, play with the fragility and density of materials, casting blurry shadows on the floor. Sandbags (Comrades) are a re-occurring motif in her practice, these anthropomorphic forms embodying notions of protection and emergency, barriers from harm. Rotating at 33 and a third RPM ‘Track Record’ her interactive audio piece, 'Track Record,' invites viewers to grapple with the sobering reality of just how many nuclear tests have been detonated since 1945.
A limited edition artist’s publication and risograph print will be available at a special price for the duration of the exhibition, which culminates in a walk-through tour with the artist.
The exhibition has been supported by KARST, where Kirsty Harris was artist-in-residence in 2022.
Kirsty Harris (b. 1978) was raised in Yorkshire and lives and works in east London with a studio at Chisenhale Arts Place. Her solo exhibitions include: ‘Heavy Weather’ Splice, Perseverance Works, London, UK (2023) ‘Foul and Awesome Display' Vane Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (2019) ‘How I Learned to Stop Worrying’ CFCCA, Manchester, UK (2016)
Duo shows include: 'Women Walked Onto the Base Last Tuesday’ with Carol Harris, Indo, London, UK (2016) 'Paradice Lost' (sic) with Stuart Robinson, Plymouth Art Weekender, Plymouth, UK (2017). Group shows include: ‘Two Plus Two Makes Four’ The Auxiliary Project Space, Middlesbrough, UK (2023) ‘The Subverted Landscape’ Tremenheere Gallery, Cornwall, UK (2023) ‘Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’ Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK (2022) ‘Once Upon an Instant’ HTW University, Berlin, Germany (2022) ‘TILT’ Hoxton Gallery, London, UK (2021) 'Contemporary British Painting Prize' Huddersfield Art Gallery and ASC Gallery, London, UK (2019- 20) ‘Strange Love’ Bankley Gallery, Levenshulme, UK (2018) ‘SOLO Award 2018’ Chiara Williams Contemporary, London, UK (2018) ‘POWERCUT’ SET Project Space, London, UK (2018).
Harris’ work is held in public and private collections in the UK and abroad including: The National Atomic Testing Museum, Nevada, USA and The Peace Museum, Bradford, UK. She co-founded the platform for art 'Come Quick Disaster' with Henrietta Armstrong in 2018 and is a new member of the Contemporary British Painting Group.