54 Gertrude Street, Ngár-go (Fitzroy)
Spencer Harrison is a visual artist whose work distils colour, form and space into ordered abstract structures that reflect on the lived urban experience. Harrison's visual language draws on the world around us, referencing design, architecture, science and the built environment. Harrison's practice explores tensions between minimalism and maximalism, order and chaos, contemplating the role these forces play in the modern world. He employs a range of methodologies of making across painting, digital video, sculpture and installation, the works he creates question the nature of abstraction and its relationship to contemporary life.
Chromatic Resistance, 2022
Chromatic Resistance explores the use of colour as a political force that can express ideas of queer resistance, strength and power through celebration. Colour is often associated with emotion and its ability to be bold and unapologetic in its emotive display. In the modern Western world colour has typically been seen as superficial, emotional, decorative and unnecessary; an affront to the classical ideas of stoicism, order, reason and tranquillity adopted by modernism in clean monochromatic forms. In his text ‘Chromophobia’, artist David Batchelor describes modern societies' fear of colour as fear of otherness, with the colour associated with ‘the feminine, the oriental, the primitive, the infantile, the vulgar, the queer or the pathological. As a queer artist, Harrison sees colour as a powerful force that can convey emotion, strength, and resistance against society's suppression of otherness. Harrison believes the sensuous and emotive power of colour is its strength, and it is something he wields unapologetically in his work to celebrate his otherness. In this artwork, colour is boldly thrust into the grey urban environment, painting the cold concrete walls of the city with an animated abstract spectrum. Cutting through the darkness of night, these exuberant projections proudly express queer resistance and otherness, celebrating the LGBTQI+ community.
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