After completing a practice led PHD in sculpture from Edinburgh University; Jessica Harrison now teaches and practices at the university.
Harrison’s practice is redolent of the once idealised image of the feminine beauty. Focusing on her ‘Painted Lady’ series, her work primarily takes icons and images of popular culture, for example, a ceramic porcelain figurine and first reduces the objects original colouring, before applying layers of thick paint to carve and etch a new identity for each figure.
The aesthetics of Harrison’s Painted Lady series extends far beyond the figures selected for Between poles and tides. Her work with found figurines has been extensive. Previous models have had their guts ripped out and made to hold them, their brains removed and left dripping from their skull and their skin melted to reveal their bones.
The juxtaposition of the quaint, kitsch and gentile women when placed against the tattooed gore inflicted by Harrison creates a striking imbalance.
Three of Harrison’s Painted Ladies are displayed in a perspex case on the upper level of Gallery One until 6th March.
Lauren Hawkins, Talbot Rice Gallery Intern.
Photo courtesy of Erika Stevenson.