When Sculpture Meets Music : Martin Harrison [PAST]

Opening :

22 October Friday 5 – 8pm [Live music by Susanna Ferrar (Violin) at 6pm & 7pm]

RSVP by emailing divfuse@gmail.com

Exhibition :

23 October Saturday 2 – 6pm [Live music by Neil Metcalfe (Flute) at 4pm & 5pm]

24 October Sunday 2 – 6pm [Live music by Susanna Ferrar (Violin) at 4pm & 5pm]

Free Entry

Shovel and Stone. Materials : paper

Project DIVFUSE is proud to be presenting When Sculpture Meets Music, a solo show by sculptor Martin Harrison (b. 1945). This is the first event under our Non Linear series, which is a small window for exhibiting non-media based work in our media art pod.

‘I am Martin Harrison. I live in SE London. I describe myself as a sculptor, visual artist and an occasional performing artist/musician in experimental art events. Creating art is a compulsion for me. Without art I could not thrive. Essentially I create art for myself.

When I am constructing an object I usually find that it takes on a life of its own. Before I commence I experiment with all aspects ie materials, form and size. I work by making formers out of paper or other materials. This enables me to make several versions of the same thing. Then I either methodically layer paper over the former, which can then be painted, or I put pulped paper over it which can result in a rougher surface. If I want a smooth surface I use polyfilla. My work is very time-consuming.

My work is influenced by William Blake, John Cage, Wassily Kandinsky, Henry Moore, Carl Jung and Buddhist thoughts. My favourite classical sculptor is Gian Lorenzo Bernini and favourite classical composer is Henry Purcell.’

Martin Harrison was born in Hexham in 1945. He was a chorister at King’s School of Ely which fuelled a lifelong interest in music. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree at University of Hull Art Faculty and won a scholarship to travel and study Byzantine Art in Greece and Italy. He returned to London and while maintaining his commitment to art he went on to become a teacher of Design and Technology having trained at Goldsmiths, University of London.

As well as being a sculptor and fine artist Harrison has always had a particular interest in experimental music and art – collaborating on performances with fellow artists and musicians. For example he has worked at : Serpentine Gallery, Morley College, Cockpit Theatre, London Collective, with musicians such as Michael Chant and David Ryon with whom he also played in Edges Ensemble on his own constructed instruments performing widely including in Denmark for Danish Radio.


Collaborating Musicians:

Catherine Pluygers (oboist) studied at Royal College of Music and started out previously as a professional orchestral player. She works as a teacher and runs London New Wind Festival. She is particularly interested in windband music, contemporary music and improvisation. Pluygers has played worldwide including visiting North Korea alone in 2005 as a soloist playing contemporary music by women composers which took two years to plan. She is Martin Harrison’s partner.

Susanna Ferrar (violinist), described by her mother as a ‘lovely, lazy brat’, is doing her best to live up to that. Lockdown has enabled her to indulge fully in almost total indolence. The only thing that entices her away from the sofa these days is the prospect of playing music.

Neil Metcalfe (flutist) has been active in the improvised music scene since the 1970’s. He has played and recorded with Roscoe Mitchell, Evan Parker, Paul Dunmall and a great many others. He was a member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, considered by many to be a flagship of European free improvisation.

Image from Martin Harrison