Harriet Horton

Harriet Horton’s Camouflage

29.09.2016 | Art | BY:

Harriet Horton is heading to Paris. But not before she lets UK-based fans of her brand of taxidermy take a look at the new collection – ‘Camouflage’ – at her London studio.

Having beens fans of Harriet’s work for some time now, firstly becoming enamoured with her ‘Sleep Subjects’ exhibition of 2015, Twin is excited to see such an exciting and irreverent artist continue to develop.

Harriet Horton

Harriet Horton, Owen, 2016

For 2016 the signature neons are still gleefully present, but there is a new, multi-textured element to the works. Materials such as marble dust and cement have been introduced, and create a staggering contrast to the exquisite delicacy of the taxidermy itself, transcending each piece onto an almost angelic plane.

“I’ve always said that when animals are deceased their natural colouring and camouflage becomes redundant,” Horton explains. “I have explored this idea further [for ‘Camouflage’] by either using animals that have no existing markings or stripping them of their original colouring and reconstructing it with light.”

It is fitting then, that a city such as Paris, which is so often known for both its light and its love, should be host to such a stunning example of the two used to breathtaking effect. Unmissable beauty.

‘Camouflage’ opens at the mi* gallery in Paris on 26th October, and runs until 16th January 2017.

Harriet will be holding a private view of the new work at her studio, Darnley Road Studios, on 29th September.

Harriethorton.com

Main image: Harriet Horton, Lovers, 2016

Tags: , , , , ,

Harriet Horton taxidermy by Joe Quigg

Second Skin

28.10.2015 | Art | BY:

I feel as if I’m in a sylvan dream world, with animals slumbering peacefully around me – except I’m actually in dark cubbyhole in a printers’ office in Aldgate East. This is Harriet Horton’s studio and what I’m looking at are her works: she’s a taxidermist, and an unusual one at that. Her ethically-sourced pieces – brightly coloured and lent a surreal quality with the addition of neon lighting – are far from traditional.

“I can’t remember what made me want to do the neon, but I’ve always loved it, so for me merging it with taxidermy seemed quite obvious,” she explains. “I like it because it’s quite trashy. My godmother lives in Blackpool, and my family used to visit to see the illuminations, and it was kind of trippy.”

Horton’s path to her trade wasn’t straightforward. After studying philosophy at the University of Manchester, she went to train with George Jamieson in Edinburgh. She did taxidermy work in her spare time, on and off, for six years, and in the last year decided that she wanted people to see her pieces.

And that’s what I’m here to discuss, because Horton’s first solo exhibition, Sleep Subjects, opens on 13th November, and she’s just joined a gallery, Contemporary Collective.

“I became really obsessed with animals and their dreaming abilities and I thought it would really fun. I wanted to use lighting and other mediums to explore the visual representation of their potential REM. I wanted to make something that was about the animals rather than about the human version of dreaming.”

Harriet Horton taxidermy by Joe Quigg

Photography by Joe Quigg

She prides herself on maintaining a playful narrative: “Once you’ve taken an animal out of it’s natural habitat, where it looks beautiful, and you put it in a gallery, it looks at bit out of place. I tamper with what I can but I try to do it with utmost respect because I think you have a level of care as a taxidermist. I hate all that macabre gothic taxidermy.”

Harriet’s work is quite unlike anyone else’s, which she says, is because, “One of the most embarrassing things for me would be to accidentally do something that’s quite similar to someone else’s. I followed a lot of artists and then realised that if I wanted to do it myself, I didn’t want any conscious influences, so I stopped researching people. I’ve been starting to look again recently.”

The exhibition looks set to be equally unusual, a multisensory experience with music and lighting in a crypt. The music producer is Rob Shields, a friend of Horton’s. “It’s really special that he’s doing it. It’s going to be a new thing for me, because I can only visualise what I’ve got here, so…his element will kind of change things. I think I’ll change the layout and that’s what I’m quite excited about,” she says.

Horton’s young, fresh approach is turning taxidermy on its head – and we think it’s dead cool.

Harriet Horton will be exhibiting on 13 November at The Crypt Gallery. For more info, go to harriethorton.com

Photography by Joe Quigg; joequigg.com

Tags: , , ,

Join the mailing list

Search

  • Identifying a comfortable and trendy dog cloth is turning out to be difficult, as more and more cute dog clothes are venturing in the global market on regular basis.