Chris Hargan is an artist based in Paisley. A recent graduate from the Glasgow school of Art where he studied fashion design before graduating in sculpture and environmental art. Chris, and two other graduates, are showcasing their work for an exhibition called MATERIALISM at the Maclaurin Gallery in Ayr. The gallery will use a biographical narrative to showcase all aspects of design, allowing viewers to get to know the artists and their thought processes during the creative process. Pieces from the show will also be available to purchase so be sure to take your credit cards.
The show opens on Saturday 25th November 2017 and runs until the 6th January 2018
Chris was kind enough to invite us to his studio in Paisley where we sipped on gin and tonic and chatted about his artwork…
SG – Tell us about your artwork. Do you specialise solely in sculpture?
CH – Yes, I did a lot of casting techniques and I like to combine it with taxidermy and other found objects. I like looking for organic matter when I’m walking or at the beach, which allows me to showcase the natural beauty of those pieces. My recent work has come from the study of natural science along with the Chinese art of Scholars’ Stones.
SG – What are they?
CH – They would find an interesting geological structure, in its own right beautiful, perhaps use an elaborate coral frame plinth or specially carved wooden platform to showcase the beauty of the natural object. So people would have these lovely cabinets of curiosity full of naturally beautiful things with an artifice around that for emphasis.
SG – Did the themes of your studies continue into your work as a solo artist?
CH – Yes, I loved the whimsy and the fantasy that could be incorporated into fashion and going wild with the concept using things like vivid colours etc. to elevate the art form. The fashion industry wasn’t an industry that I wanted to work in personally. After working a few placements, I found the environment a little too callous, wasteful and cut throat. Also the idea of relocating and potentially working as an unpaid intern for several years just wasn’t for me. With sculpture and fine art its perhaps not as commercial but it allows me to incorporate more of my concepts and messages within my pieces.
SG – Is this your first time showing your artwork?
CH – I’ve shown a few times at the Glasgow Art Club on Bath Street whilst I was studying and the Grace and Clark Fyfe Gallery too, however this will be the first collaborative show as we have two other Glasgow School of Art graduates who are also showcasing their work. It’s a composition of our different approaches to materiality and our love of traditional crafts and techniques. We make artwork that’s not so stripped back and minimal that its to just be conceptual but also appreciates the love that goes into making them.
SG – Are the themes of natural science and taxidermy a running theme in your work?
CH – There are four components that are part of the same piece called ‘Trickle Down Magic Money Trees and Other Myths’ from my graduate show from last year and four new pieces that are a continuation of that theme. I realised that this is the aesthetic that I liked; using casting materials and taxidermy and I’m still getting that out of my system just now. I’m excited to use the taxidermy with new silversmith techniques that I will be learning in Antwerp, where I plan to combine traditional silver vessels with snake handles.
SG – Are you nervous about the event?
CH – Not really, Im just hopeful that we get a lot of people to attend my opening*
*INSERT CHILDISH GIGGLING 🙂
MATERIALISM – Saturday 25th November 2017 until the 6th January 2018 at the Maclaurin Gallery, Rozelle Estate, Monument Road, Ayr, KA7 4NQ
Words – Gordon Penman
Photography – Simon Crawford