UCA Farnham Fine Art Student Profile 2014 – Miranda Harrison

“The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most”

John Rushkin

Tell us what your work is about

I am seduced by colour, particularly when it is at the most vibrant end of the spectrum. I am fascinated by how people can be emotionally drawn to a colour and how the language of colour is evocative. My main themes are pure colour through light. A multitude of colour theories and the possibility/impossibility of an existentialist experience with colour. the emotional and cerebral experience of colour. Unnameable colours.

How did you develop the idea that produced your final exhibition work? 

The ideas for my final piece came about via a number of different factors all coming together. Through rigorous and persistent experimentation with lights and marbles I kept creating colour spaces with lots of testing and multiple works, but none of them quite evoked the same personal and physical response of the first piece I created.  I realised that simplification and purity where important in the work, and through a group critique session discussed this and this helped to hone the work and I decided to use the first piece of work and resolve it. What was actually most important was the perfection of the space and the experience of being there with the work, not creating something elaborate. My biggest issues were being able to make the exhibiting space as perfect as I needed it. The interaction of the works with the spectator and the immediate architecture and material surfaces also became very important and something I explored and changed until it was just right.

Which sources have fed into the development of your work?

I have been very strongly influenced by the colour theories of Newton and Goethe and the dissonance between them. The letters written by the Modernist Colourfield artists and their approach to existentialism has intrigued me greatly too, as has the fine line between existentialism and phenomenology. Although I am drawn to and visually seduced by the vibrancy of colour, it has been the theoretical writings and images they can conjure in the minds eye that has had the greatest influence on my practice.

What do you think is the most significant thing that has helped you during your time a UCA Farnham?

Without question the time spent discussing work with peers and tutors. Being present at Farnham in the studio, and just working in the studio space leads to so many ad hoc conversations and incidental remarks that can have the greatest impact on the development of work.

What did you learn from the process of producing your Farnham exhibition?

Adaptability! The need to know when to be flexible and when to be determined. To have tested and tested and tested all that you can prior to install and that no matter how meticulous your planning, things happen that derail your plans, but knowing the end goal and knowing that everything else is planned means unforeseen issues can be met head on.

What are you planning next?

I already have three commissions straight from finishing. In fact the first started during assessment. I am also applying for open submissions and planning for September. I’m looking into further study at postgraduate level and education.



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