Introducing New Talent: Harriet Shooter-Redfearn
Written By Sophie Holt.
Here at Manchester Craft and Design Centre we love supporting new, emerging talent – after all we know how hard it can be to get your feet off the ground. At our recent March Maker Meet-Up we invited makers from all disciplines of craft and design to chat with us about their work and share their portfolio. It was fascinating to see such an array of fresh talent and this made our job of choosing a winner to be featured on our website all the more difficult. Over the next week we will be introducing you to three of our favourite fresh faces.
This post will be discussing the work of Manchester based artist-maker Harriet Shooter-Redfearn.
The fascinating sculptures created by Harriet Shooter-Redfearn are inspired by the traces of past human activity found within buildings, particularly those old and abandoned. Within her work she is specifically interested in bringing to light overlooked or forgotten traces of everyday life. She combines the traces of these narratives with materials reflective of the place and these often include metal, glass and concrete. Her current project is in response to London Road Fire Station, a building that was once within the beating heart of Manchester’s community and has now been derelict for over 30 years. Harriet gained access to the site and captured traces of the past that will soon be lost as the building undergoes redevelopment. We found the archaeological quality of Harriet’s work incredibly effective, in addition to the way she painstakingly collected and collated small fragments of history and transformed them into something relevant for the modern day. Some of the striking pieces from this project ‘The Signatures of London Road Fire Station’ are pictured below.
Hello Harriet! Tell us a little bit about your craft and how you started making.
‘Within my practice as an artist-maker, I work with a variety of materials and ready-mades. I use different craft techniques to create my work, including slumping sheet glass and casting in metal. The materials and craft processes I choose to use are dependent on the subject I am responding to. I initially started making during my Art and Design Foundation Course which is also when I began combining hand crafted elements with ready-mades to create my work.’
What inspires you and your work?
‘I am fundamentally inspired by the often overlooked traces which refer to narratives of everyday life. Through the appropriation of archaeological research methods, I seek out these traces within buildings and respond to them through my work. I am inspired by the artist, Linda Brothwell who commemorates dwindling trades through her sensitive acts of making. Linda Brothwell’s work references traditional craft techniques pertinent to a particular place, and my work references the details of everyday life found within a particular site.’
What is your dream project?
‘My dream project would be to create a body of work in response to a derelict pub situated somewhere in Britain. I am intrigued by the abandoned pubs in Rusholme which I often pass on the bus each day such as Hardy’s Well or The Huntsman Inn. I grew up in the North Midlands where I was surrounded by pubs; there are four within a stone’s throw from my childhood home. The romantic part of me considers the pub to be a place where the local community come together. The characters you meet, the stories you hear, and the memories made within the walls of a pub are what give life to the building. I feel we are losing our sense of community in contemporary society, and this is represented through the many abandoned pubs which can be seen today in Britain. This is why I would love to undertake a project which would celebrate the life, and thus sense of community, which once existed within a pub.’
Why do you think its important to promote and encourage local artists and designers?
‘By commemorating Manchester’s heritage within my work, I aim to encourage people to value their community through its history. I feel that a sense of pride in one’s local community is important, and one other way to encourage people to recognise this value is to promote local artists and designers. Promoting upcoming artists and designers within an area may also inspire others to try something creative which is proven to have a positive effect on our wellbeing. Through the promotion and encouragement of individuals who use craft techniques to create their work, others can see the value in craft, a field in the arts which I feel is sadly dwindling.’
Harriet’s work will be featured in the ‘London Road Project’ exhibition at PLANT NOMA, Manchester between the 9th-16th June 2018. You can also find her pieces (along with many other talented makers) at the Manchester School of Art Degree Show 2018, which is open to the public from the 9th June 2018.
We selected three fantastic emerging makers to feature after out March Maker Meet Up! Find out more about our other winners by clicking below.