One of the reasons I wanted to do this theme this week was so I could also share some of Christine K. Harris’s latest work. Her pieces are almost wholly conceptual, relaying personal, societal and universal emotions and ideas. The richness of her pieces are the primary draw, along with the clear and ubiquitous nature of so much of her symbolism.
I think this may be my favorite piece of hers to date. I say “I think” because I’m not done examining its many sides, imagery, symbolism and just beautiful application of rhythmic motifs. Every side — inside, outside, front, sides, back — is different and wholly intriguing. Most of Christine’s work is a combination of polymer, two-part sculptable epoxy and other materials as needed. But this box or sculpture or altar, or whatever you want to take it as, moves far beyond the definition of its materials, as does most of her work.
The piece is called Long Division and starts at the top with what I am sure are mirrored twins, maybe even Siamese twins. Within and without, there are Christine’s iconic birds, skulls, skeletons and other symbols of birth, freedom and death that appear in so much of her work. This piece feels more joyous than a lot of her past work though, even with the death symbology; death is so much a part of the cycle of life we are in. I have so many ideas about what might be going on here, but art is a personal interpretive experience when it really comes down to it so I will leave it to you to take from it what speaks to you. As Christine says on her home page, “As important as it is for me to use my art to make sense of the world, it is just as important that viewers take their own experience from my work …”
For a full view of this piece, you will want to go to Christine’s page with its many detail shots. But don’t hesitate to wander further about her site and find other concepts and connections for yourself. If you are curious about her use of symbolism and how you might work this kind of thing into your own work, don’t miss the beautiful article she wrote for our Spring 2013 issue still available in both print and digital.
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