Rowena Harris

Augmented Triad Part 1, 2013

Uncategorized

Dimensions Variable


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Artwork
Description

HD single channel film, stereo (audio the artist), 1 minute, 41 seconds, Ed. 5 (+exh & artist copy)

An Augmented Triad is a musical term relating to a chord consisting of two major thirds and a raised top note. Therefore, this work examines the ability to translate musicality to a visuality. Augmented Triad Part 1 is a silent video, featuring a varied sequence of coloured shapes, intercut with footage of a piano being played. Rowena Harris explores the possibility to relate sound and vision through the power of language and imagery. Human creativity becomes an important theme, which is irrevocably attached to viewerly interpretation.

The piece itself is energetically visual, harnessing bold coloured shapes, almost evocative of geometric abstraction. It chooses to focus on the materiality of film and digital communication. In this case the digital becomes a material; despite its lack of physicality it carries symbolic meaning. This effect is further enhanced by the unexpected silence that greets the viewer upon first watching the material, it is a jarring disconcertion of the viewer’s expectations… when the hammer of a piano key is greeted with silence; instead a series of shapes become a visual substitute for the aural.

As the shapes create a visually symphonic effect, which verges on the synaesthetic, the work examines the ability for digital media to become a unified work of art, which has a perceived materiality. This is also coupled with a physical component in Augmented Triad Part 2, which explores the part/whole relationship of art and its digital reproduction and representation in the modern world.

About
the artist

Rowena Harris (b. 1985, Norfolk, UK) lives and works in London. She received a BA in Fine Art at University College Falmouth, UK and an MFA in Art Practice at Goldsmiths College, London. In 2014 she won the Sainsbury’s Scholarship for The British School in Rome where she is currently working.

Rowena Harris is a multi-disciplinary artist. She uses materiality to instigate an exploration of the relationship between individuals and concrete artefacts, in an increasingly digitised environment. There is a heavy importance placed upon communication with the viewer, using objects to create a utilitarian discourse, pertaining to everyday entities and their aesthetic value.

In constructing this aesthetic, Harris uses materials such as concrete, Perspex and resin, which are implacably utilitarian; synthetic symbols of the individual's ability to create, but also contain a perceived soullessness, devoid of natural meaning. However, Harris ensures the human is present in all her works; particularly through the representation of hands, symbolising man's innate propensity for creation and suggesting his synthetic creations are ultimately an extension of humanity, a projection of its social consciousness.

Harris’ practice centres upon human perception and furthermore encompasses the phenomenological self into her work. As a result the body becomes part of the composition and comments upon the fact that humanity is defined by its potential to create. As a result, the technological and the synthetic become an extension of the organic. This is enhanced by a sense of individuation, whereby there are several disparate elements connected together, thematically or physically. Digital elements often provide an accompaniment to this, exemplifying the way objects are appreciated, dependent upon the way in which they are encountered. It also suggests the increasing unification of the human in a technologically advancing world.

Harris’ work constitutes an exploration of a shared experience between humankind and its creations, but also highlights the nature of discrete external objects and their unification, facilitated by human perception. The artist's oeuvre exemplifies the way in which humanity is simultaneously unified by a utilitarian desire for progress and individuated by phenomenological experience.


Rowena Harris is a multi-disciplinary artist. She uses materiality to instigate an exploration of the relationship between individuals and concrete artefacts, in an increasingly digitised environment. There is a heavy importance placed upon communication with the viewer, using objects to create a utilitarian discourse, pertaining to everyday entities and their aesthetic value. Harris’ work constitutes an exploration of a shared experience between humankind and its creations, but also highlights the nature of discrete external objects and their unification, facilitated by human perception. The artist’s oeuvre exemplifies the way in which humanity is simultaneously unified by a utilitarian desire for progress and individuated by phenomenological experience.


Rowena Harris
on Artuner

Part of the
exhibition

December 8th, 2014 until
February 25th, 2015
Curated by Kirsty Ogg