Kirsty Harris

I explore nuclear explosions as cultural, historical and iconic symbols. Referencing the scale, beauty and abhorrent nature of the atom bomb I delve into the periphery of the subject, the myths, characters and surrounding evidence. I works across a wide range of media from vast oil paintings, tapestries, projections and audioscapes to delicate paintings on glass and ceramics you could hold in your hand. 

Scale is an important aspect of my practice. For instance, in the painting Charlie, each square inch of linen represents 4 tons of TNT – Which in turn is the unit of measurement used to signify the yield of the explosion. These large paintings aim to confront the viewer with an all consuming landscape. If they inspect them up close, for a moment in time this is all they can see.

I’m fascinated by the beauty and awe of the landscape, the dust, the glow, the force of the explosion. In this master plan to kill ourselves off, we’ve shown ourselves the end.

Kirsty Harris (b.1978) was brought up in Yorkshire and lives and works in London – with a studio at Chisenhale Arts Place. 

Solo exhibitions include: ‘That Lethal Cloud’ StudioKIND, Devon (2023) ‘Heavy Weather’ Splice, Perseverance Works, London (2023) ‘Intervention’ DIY performances during the 59th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2022) ‘A Foul and Awesome Display’ Vane Gallery, Newcastle Upon Tyne (2019).

Duo shows include: ‘Women Walked Onto the Base Last Tuesday’ with Carol Harris, Indo, London (2016) ‘Paradice Lost’ (sic) with Stuart Robinson, Plymouth Art Weekender (2017).

Group shows include: ‘Two Plus Two Makes Four’ The Auxiliary Project Space, Middlesbrough (2023) ‘The Subversive Landscape’ Tremenheere Gallery, Cornwall, UK (2023) ‘Royal Academy Summer Exhibition’ Royal Academy of Arts, London (2022) ‘Contemporary British Painting Prize’ Huddersfield Art Gallery and ASC Gallery, London (2019-20).

artist’s website