Rebecca D. Harris is an artist based in Marazion, Cornwall UK inspired by the female body.
Where textiles are used to conceal the body she uses them to reveal it.
Since 1977 I have had my own body and then in 1989 my body asserted its womanhood. During the time my body lost its gender neutrality, I taught myself to draw, embroider and crochet. Many other artists who use textiles in their work talk of nostalgia with such stories of their grandmother teaching them their craft. Unfortunately, this wasn't the case for myself, it was a self-discovered escape and I continue retreat to this oasis some 30 years later.
I often joke it is the only aspect of my life I have patience for as my process in some of my work can be very laborious and repetitive. It is important that the handmade is present within my work and let's not kid each other, I have to agree with Louise Bourgeois here that 'the act of sewing is an act of emotional repair'. What interests me is what is invoked within the viewer, their stories of nostalgia about the craft and how textiles engages, it has familiarity, an everyday-ness, is tactile and draws you in to touch.
Often exploring biomedical aspects of the female body my work integrates the invisible, internal and external materialities of both the physical and psychosocial. Where textiles are used to conceal I use them to reveal.
Although I love working on my own, it's even better getting more than one head together on projects and moving ideas forward. A favourite collaboration is the Eden Project commission in which I was teamed up with UCL professor of microbiology Mike Wilson. We worked on visualising how the microbes appear on the skin which I interpreted into a hand embroidery for the Eden Project and you can view an extract of a BBC documentary we took part in here.
For my new research project 'Skin as Repository: my deflated body as axis for research' I am currently established partners for both collaborators and advisory roles.
Through my arts based research I have given poster and paper presentations at interdisciplinary conferences within universities across the country. Notably, this year (2018) I gave an artist talk on my 'Obscure Objects of Obesity' project at the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford University, this research was also published in the anthology: The Politics of Size: Perspectives from the Fat Acceptance Movement (2014).
I am currently developing an interdisciplinary auto-ethnographical arts based research project 'Skin as Repository: my deflated body as axis for research'. Which explores embodiment with skin as a container of history, stigma, materiality and identity.
Throughout the years I have worked in various educational settings from nursery up to degree level and gained a PGCE in 2009. I am available for artists' talks, workshops and lectures. To date I have with many places including the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford University, Eden Project, University of York, Exeter Phoenix, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth University.
I hold a DBS (formerly CBS) certificate.
Please contact me for my day rates and availability.
Juggling with being a mum of three, in 2010 I graduated from Plymouth College of Art with a first class honours degree in fine art, and not content with how much debt I had so far accrued, I went on to do a masters degree in contemporary art practice at Plymouth University. It was during my studies I discovered how obsessed I became with making work about the body and not just *of* the body but rather I got very interested in how I could fully utilise the viewer's body in perceiving the work. Stemming from my creative play as a child, and further career twists and turns involving making, my work is dominated by textiles.
Here's some quick copy and paste info:
Rebecca D. Harris is an artist based in Marazion, Cornwall UK inspired by the female body. Where textiles are used to conceal the body she uses them to reveal it.
After graduating from Plymouth College of Art with a first class honours degree in fine art the artist then went on to complete a masters in contemporary art practice at Plymouth University. The artist has shared her interdisciplinary research at UK universities and most recently at the School of Anthropology, Oxford University. Rebecca has artworks in private collections around the globe and has exhibited nationally and most notably at the permanent exhibition 'Invisible You' at the world renowned Eden Project in Cornwall.
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