Monday, 29 November 2010

ELECTRO CUTE at the Safehouse Gallery

Harriet Myfanwy Nia Tahany, a Leitrim based artist, is opening a new solo exhibition in Belfast next month. "Electro’ Cute" opens at the Safehouse Gallery, located on Donegal Street in Belfast, the exhibition runs from 12th – 19th December 2010. The Safehouse Arts Space Gallery was opened in 2002 as a new art space in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. Safehouse aims to provide a gallery which nurtures new emerging art as well as challenging some of the established artistic norms.

Harriet is originally from Wales and recently completed her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Ulster in Belfast. She now lives in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim. Her career has gone from strength to strength since she won the annual Taylor Art award at the Royal Dublin Society in 2007. “Electro'Cute” is Harriet’s second solo show this year. When asked to describe her new set of works, Harriet describes a “surreal fairytale set in a strange futuristic ice age, inhabited by cybernetic sweethearts and cute bionic animal mutants”. Each work of art offers a glimpse into Harriet’s surreal fantasy world of character’s and narrative, Harriet’s invites us to engage with this new works story telling potential, presented without a beginning or an end, enduringly stir’s the viewer into they own imagination.

The works in this new show portray a commentary or warning about loss of animals and environments. Harriet refers to William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence and Experience” at the time of the industrial revolution in the nineteenth century as being intertextual to her new work, “it’s a futuristic surreal notion about the technology and nature”. William Blake used symbols of childhood in his poetry and illustrations to portray the simple rural life that was becoming threatened by the new age of manufacturing and steam powered industry. Those who are familiar with Harriet’s work will see her trademark theme of sweetness with darker undertones, which can be identified in much of her previous work.

Harriet explains the inspiration behind this new set of work, “The futuristic elements come as a result of constant environmental disregard, which has caused an ice age. The characters are only surviving in it because they are cybernetic.” A main theme is that nature has become dependent on technology. Ideas include that the world has become uninhabitable without the aid of cybernetic implants and breathing devices, mutant animals have been bred especially to support these technology dependant humans and that the world is entering a strange new era.

The exhibition is in two main media, sculpture and painting. "Electro’ Cute" opens on Sunday 12th December 2010 at 2.00 pm. All are welcome to celebrate this new collection of work and to meet Harriet in person.

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