Spencer Harrison: Lyrical MetricalSalon Projects 4 December 2020 - 13 February 2021
This new series of abstract paintings by Spencer Harrison draws on the formal properties of poetry as a basis for investigating the experience of colour. Each vibrant composition creates a heightened experience of colour, exploring its capacity to activate a range of emotion and intensity of experience in a way that is similar to poetry. Within the works, Harrison references linear structures of poetry, as well as ideas of alliteration, rhyme and metrical rhythm. He creates Colour Poems in paint that capture the rhythmic energy of poetry as colour and form.
The vibrant chords of colour contained in each painting draw on Harrison's extensive knowledge of the colour theories of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. Just as poetry experiments with language, these paintings experiment with the language of colour: making unexpected juxtapositions that trigger a fine balance between dissonance and harmony. Colours appear to merge, vibrate and shift in hue as they interact before the viewers' eyes.
Spencer Harrison's interdisciplinary practice is concerned with the dialogue between formal abstraction and our complex modern world. His work explores the visual languages of the world around us, borrowing forms and colours and repurposing them to create enigmatic abstract works. He is particularly interested in the emotional affect of colour and how abstraction allows for the distillation of complex ideas into reduced minimalist forms.
Over the past six years, Harrison has presented several solo exhibitions, as well as public murals and commissions, most notably Dance Your Own Dance, 2017, Peel Street Park, Collingwood, commissioned by band Miami Horror. In 2019 he was commissioned by David Jones to collaborate on their Art of Living season launch, adapting his sculptures and artworks for display in windows and stores. Harrison is currently undertaking a Masters of Contemporary Art at the Victorian College of Arts, University of Melbourne.