Harriet Abbott is a London based artist with an inclination toward art writing and poetry in relation to art historical tropes and more contemporary philosophies. Her work circulates around questions of language in opposition with the sentient body, writing, and object agency. Through a process of casting objects in repetition, she attempts to navigate a path in the direction of ‘the real’, with hope of experiencing true encounters with objects unclouded by the arbitrary signification of language.
“The signification of language means we lack infinite emotion as we are prescribed comprehension, which frames experiences and entities. Rather than circumscribing sensation through pointed and literal connotation, I intend to fragment, dilute, and re-contextualize the knowable in order to decenter and resultantly reconfigure understanding.
In an attempt to re-assign poetic language to familiar objects that have an everyday function, I am inclined to create multiple casts of them and compose sculptural lexicons. Not only does this make the object redundant in many cases, it changes the dialect that one holds around them. As the inevitable fall out of information occurs with each repetition in making, the metaphysical presences and the insistent question of one’s own mortality prevails. ‘Resistant to knowledge,’ art objects carry their own agency outside of immediate human comprehension and dilute rational understanding. Colour further disrupts our lucid reading of objects. The infamous ‘International Klein Blue’ that I have been employing references familiar art histories and tropes, yet also has a decentring effect and again lessens object identification. Furthermore, poetry in its metaphorical mediation can place one closer to the metaphysical through abstract and expressive means of communication.
Yet I continue to consider myself a victim of language and writing, caught up in its stickiness, unwilling to pull away. Art and Writing are inextricably linked. They hold a mutually dependent relationship; where one falls short in translation, the other pulls through”.
Harriet graduated with a 1st class BA (Hons) in Fine Art, Painting & Printmaking from GSA 2019. We featured her work in our highlight Best of Scottish Art Schools Graduate Show 2019.