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Broken Ground

John Harper
'Responses: three approaches to one space' was a series of changing commissions in which three artists respond consecutively to the dimensions of the Spike Island Project Space. The artists involved were: Tod Hanson, Ayling & Conroy and John Harper.

During the course of the exhibition the Project Space altered three times – the viewer was either greeted with a show by one of the three artists or the space in a state of flux. The sequential nature of the project set out to reveal the processes that an artist goes through in order to make a piece of work, which in turn made the curatorial act more transparent. A Research Space containing reference material collected by the artists developed and evolved alongside a series of public events.

Broken Ground
Broken Ground drew on the viewer’s experience, confronting them with a deconstructed visual of land and landscape in a way that require them to then restructure and reform their view. Broken Ground was developed from a one-year location residency with Fermynwoods Contemporary Art (also published in the book Broken and Breaking Ground through RGAP and distributed by Cornerhouse) and was further developed for Responses: three approaches to one space.

About the artist
John Harper uses photography to explore aspects of visual perception more commonly associated with sculpture or filmic media. Over 30 years of practice his work has involved painting, sculpture, large-scale photoworks and installation. The land, the figure and interior have been the artist’s sources throughout his varied practice. He has theoretical interest in the history and the contemporary context of this range of subject and content. In his recent work he has been preoccupied with the way in which we build a holistic perception of our physical and visual experience of landscape. Recent exhibitions and residencies include Common Ground, 2008 (Denbigshire Arts Centre), Broken and Breaking Ground, 2008 (A year long residency at Fermynwoods Contemporary Arts), In Transition, 2007 (‘J’ Gallery) and Time – throughout year, 2007 (Burleigh House Sculpture Garden).

Responses: three approaches to one space was made possible through support and funding from the Spike Island Associates Programme and was the outcome of a years Curatorial Internship.

Spike 300dpi