Born in St Bees in 1982, Jessica Harrison moved to Scotland to study sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000, going on to do an MFA before completing a practice-led PhD in sculpture in 2013 funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.
Her research considers the relationship between interior and exterior spaces of the body, but looks neither inwards towards a hidden core, nor outwards from the subconscious, instead looking orthogonally across the skin to the movement of the body itself, using the surface of the body as a mode of both looking and thinking.
Through her porcelain sculptures, artist Kate MacDowell explores our romantic notions towards the environment alongside the human propensity for destruction. Her pieces are responses to the damage we inflict upon our habitats including climate change, genetic modification of organisms, and pollution. Human figures and animals act as symbols of the natural world, humorously and sometimes disturbingly transformed into new creatures that share qualities across the boundary of species. Hand crafted and exceptionally detailed, her work is a traditional medium that takes on contemporary significance in an age of ecological degradation.
Kate MacDowell and her ghostly sculptures are beautiful and somewhat haunting examinations of the human relationship with nature. Each piece is molded by hand and then hollowed. Choosing porcelain for its pallor, luminosity, and ability to show texture, it also allows her to represent “fragility of natural forms in a dying ecosystem, while paradoxically, being a material that can last for thousands of years and is historically associated with high status and value.”