Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The 24 Hours Series: Harriet Body

Harriet Body, Dots, watercolour on paper, 2012

Harriet Body
The 24 Hour Series
Firstdraft: October 3 - 20, 2012 

Time based artist Harriet Body's recent exhibition at Firsdraft explores the act of creation by limiting her creation to 24 hour periods of time. With a body of work fundamentally concerned with process, The 24 Hour series imparts the importance of conceptually driven work. Dots presents two sheets of these tiny markings, these seemingly ends to a sentence, that continue endlessly. But it's not endless, there is a very definitive end in sight which signals the conclusion of the 24 hour period allowed for creation. A sheet is left half undone, the eternal 'dot, dot, dot'. The painstaking process performed to achieve this work is as important as the finished work itself, arguably more so.
Harriet Body, Dots, watercolour on paper, 2012
Harriet Body, Egg, egg yolk on paper, 2012
There is something about Egg that reminds me of a Rorschach Test, also known as the inkblot test, where you are asked to described what your perception of the inkblot is and this gives an insight into your psychological state. Perhaps for this reason it's very easy to stare at Body's work for extended periods of time and always uncover something new. This work gives an insight into the eggs which the artist cooked and ate over a 24 hour period and in turn provides an insight into the artist herself.   
Harriet Body, Egg, egg yolk on paper, 2012
In an interview I did with Body back in December last year she emphasised that it is the act of creation that is most important to her and that the work that is produced as a result is "purely documentation". The shifting and moving paper in the video work Paper, perhaps demonstrates this notion of the documentary art work. Its strangely beautiful patterns and movements are perhaps symbolic of the artists movements during this 24 hour period. In a sense the work shown in The 24 Hour Series is documenting her.
Harriet Body, Paper, HD digital video, 16:9, 2012

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