7×8 | 2020 | Series 5 | Jessica Harris

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Jessica Harris NSW – What Was Pavilion


What’s your favourite aspect of being an artist?

I am trained in architecture and so I don’t necessarily identify myself as an artist but find that the two are inextricably linked. The discipline of architecture is exciting to work within because it crosses so many disciplinary boundaries and there are always opportunities to explore creative pursuits beyond practice.
For me, the pleasure is in the process of making by hand and the freedom to be creative.

Do you have a favourite material you like to work with?

There is no one favourite material but when working with a material I think it is important to consider the nuances of that material as this then influences its application and use.  At the moment I am interested in waste material or re-appropriating material so that it can be experienced it in a new light.

Would you rather share an Uber with Barbara Hepworth or Cornelia Parker or Antony Gormley?

What are the chances I could convince Barbara Hepworth to gift me one of her sculptures? It might have to be a long Uber ride.

If you could meet any artist (from the past or present) who would it be?

Brett Whiteley is the first who came to my head. If I overthink this I might spent all day on this question.

What are you most excited for about SWELL?

I’m excited to exhibit in a public realm and tell a story in (hopefully) an interesting and accessible manner.
I’m also excited for a post-isolation society where we can again experience art as it was intended.

Is there a creative process or method you go through to think of your next piece or do ideas strike you when you don’t expect it?

A little of both. My mind is constantly running with ideas, some much better than others. When I am fixed on an idea, I will then begin a conceptual design process that is quite rigorous, derived from architectural training.

Are you most productive on a beautiful sunny day or rainy gloomy day?

Definitely gloomy! On a sunny day I am happily distracted by the beach.

Beach goer or city slicker or outback lover?

Love the salty skin!

Is there something you aim to achieve during your career as an artist?

I have never considered this question before now. I would say that there is enough joy out of having someone positively experience an artwork or project that I have designed.

Red, blue or yellow?

Yellow ochre

How do you think SWELL Sculpture brings art and the local community together?

SWELL is so great because it brings art to a broader audience who would not usually consume art in a traditional sense.

How many SWELL Sculpture Festivals have you been too?

I have experienced the last few SWELL Festivals.

Shelby Nelson is confident but still growing as a university student. Studying Public Relations and Business she has found a strong passion for all things events, especially when it comes to the arts industry. Growing up on the Gold Coast she lives and breathes the beachside lifestyle and aims to help showcase people with amazing talents, giving the community not only a chance to appreciate them but have an amazing experience whilst doing so.

Follow her on Instagram @shelbynelson1