david harbott critcal public art | research led | audience involvement
Background and current practice
Working in public art with an emphasis on audience involvement, research led and site specific artworks.
Davids work emerges out of a dialogue between artist and audience; he believes that everyone can use art as a way of re-thinking or re-imagining, seeing again or thinking freshly about something.
"Thinking hard about context and completing rigorous research makes the work more intelligible and beautiful for both those familiar with art and those for whom its a new thing."
He hopes to make works that are in dialogue with their surroundings, using materials that are part of the existing fabric of the places where the work is shown.
Selected recent works:
at Berry Head - TQ5 9AP
There is a type of limestone grassland called Carline Thistle Sheep's Fescue turf, sub-variety with Autumn Squill and Portland Spurge. There are only 22 hectares in the world, a substantial part of which is in Torbay.
David was humbled by the beauty and complexity of this diverse and extremely rare low lying ecosystem. In an attempt to honor it he copied and enlarged two tiny squares on to the car park at Berry Head. Made in acrylic line marking paint directly on to the asphalt. Walk on it if you dare!!
Part of a Smooth Space project called 'Over the Horizon', including amazing video works by artists Kate Paxman and Anna Keleher.
See works and thoughts at: http://artatberryhead.blogspot.co.uk/
at Devonport - start at PL1 4GB
A series of 12 digital montages form an integral part of the Devonport Heritage Trial. The pictures bring in to focus moments in the lives of those who have occupied familiar places before us. Incorporating artworks from the past in to contemporary practice mirrors how lived experience overlies that of those who have gone before.
Each picture is the result of detailed research in to the visual history of the places where the works are shown.
at Kinson Hub - BH11 9AW
'The Smugglers Wain' is a 14metre digital public artwork on the north elevation of the new Kinson Hub building. Led entirely by research in to the aspirations of the people who would be living with the artwork on a daily basis, incorporating the visual history of Kinson and the Stour valley.
at Occombe Farm - TQ3 1RN
A series of four paintings in enamel paint on mild steel reflect on how landscape is viewed and used both in the art world and the real world. Landscape has been appropriated to be property, beauty, truth...
at Market Street and Union Street - TQ1 3DN
Today there are five digital montages printed on to acrylic, depicting Torbays mini icons, places that contribute to Torbays identity. The transparent material means the pictures are partially invisible at first sight, the viewer is invited to inquire about the content by looking harder at it!!
Developed through consultation with people on the street and parallel research in to the visual history of the Bay.
See a selection of pictures of Davids works at: www.davidharbott.co.uk
View my website http://www.smoothspace.org/