Monday, September 29, 2014

Erin Harmon's Latest Project

Posted By on Mon, Sep 29, 2014 at 10:45 AM

River Project model
  • River Project model

Erin Harmon makes her work in a green garden-shed-turned-studio, a location that seems fitting for an artist whose dioramic painting/collages often depict botanical cabinets of sea-anenome-shaped neon plantlife. Harmon’s botanicals are, for lack of a better word, “oogly”— full of acidic dots and undulating yellow lines; seductive and poisonous-looking.

In the past, Harmon’s work has been mostly small-scale and confined to the page. She breaks this habit with her latest project, a collaboration alongside choreographer and dancer Steven McMahon, of Ballet Memphis. McMahon’s original ballet, (working title) BIRDS, premiers in mid-October as a part of Ballet Memphis’ River Project. Harmon designed the set, per McMahon’s request, with “not a feather in sight.”

When I saw the in-progress model for the set, Harmon was in the process of developing two 18-ft tall, movable, Mississippi-Delta-inspired “arbor shapes” (“like a pair of abstract bird wings…[they] create this channel through the middle, so it is kind of an open flyway”)

Here is Harmon talking about her set with a slideshow of sketches from her studio:

“I knew I wanted floating shapes so that it kind of related to my work and collage work... I wanted it to be real and unreal. This piece is influenced by, or inspired by the Mississippi flyway; the route of migration that birds take along the Mississippi. It is a very luxurious route for birds to take; it it kind of like a vacation in that there are no mountains; there's not a lot of resistance, it is fertile it is fruitful, there's water.

“I am constantly trying to move the landscape away from the real. So things like: I started with an X shape that is kind of like a cactus, but that just continues in the work to evolve. I like how graphic it is, and how awkward. [Steven] is really interested in the kind of weirdness of birds, how kind of awkward and sometimes disturbing these things can be.”

River Project, October 18-26 at Playhouse on the Square

Tags: , , , , ,

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation