Electro’Cute is a body of paintings, drawings and sculpture portraying Harriet’s surreal fairy-tale of a “strange futuristic ice age, inhabited by cybernetic sweethearts and cute bionic animal mutants”. Harriet ignites our imaginations with depictions of strange yet alluring characters presented as fragments of a non-linear narrative of survival in a bleak snowy world. Here nature has become dependent on technology and the environment is uninhabitable without its aid. These cybernetic implants and breathing devices function by relying on mutant animals that have been especially bred to support these technology dependent humans.
Harriets 2010 solo exhibition, ‘Electro’Cute’ was shown at the SafeHouse Gallery, located on Donegall Street in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The exhibition ran from 12th – 19th December 2010.
Here are some photos of the exhibition and opening reception:
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Original Press Release:
Harriet Myfanwy Nia Tahany, Leitrim based artist, is opening a new solo exhibition in Belfast next month. Harriet recently completed her Masters in Fine Art at the University of Ulster in Belfast.
“Electro’ Cute” opens at the SafeHouse Gallery, located on Donegall 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, who lives in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim, has seen her career go 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 characters and narrative, Harriet invites us to engage with the story telling potential in this exhibition. The work presented without a beginning or an end, enduringly stirs the viewers into their own imagination.
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 dependent humans and that the world is entering a strange new era. The works 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. Harriet mirrors Blake’s theme in a futuristic context. 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.
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.