Ian Harrold British



Relics, totems, objects of reverence. Ian Harrold has, since his youth, been interested in the artefacts which we make then all too often discard or just forget. Their time has passed but when rediscovered they can act as reminders, waypoints in our musings on our changing identities.


In 2020 we can, with technology, create almost anything we have the ability to imagine, but clearly this has not always been so. Harrold's new series 'Totem' is centred on a project begun in 1976, a study of a tract of land in east London. Relics from the early days of mass production produced largely from the first plastics were dug up, washed, then photographed in his studio from a low angle.


These forms were imagined as large structures, totems from another time. His interest was spurred by deliberations on how the objects were made; someone would have made the original pattern, perhaps from hardwood, complete with radii, fillets and curves.  He considers them works of art, testaments to the pattern makers craft.


He has reproduced this collected 'library of forms', laying them down within these current works then gradually concealing them with oil paint before partially rediscovering them. The original form is revealed through repeating the process over many months.


Another strand of Harrold's work over the winter is based on studies of the ancient stones of Penwith, a feature of the Cornish landscape which long attracted artists from far and wide. Men-an-Tol in particular was visited many times to get a feel for the place then photographed, largely with a fisheye lens, often inches from the surface to create a unique perspective. The stones have been roughly modelled in 3D and reimagined from viewpoints impossible in real life, perhaps from under the ground.



'A celebration, remembering the energy and vision of the Festival of Britain in 1951. Although the festival was staged before I was born, my parents were setting up a new home, to build a family and to build a future. The colour palette developed by designers in the 50s provides the basis for the feel of the work, and was employed in the design of so many of the everyday objects I remember as a boy and were born out of the ethos developed from this landmark event for the British people.


'This a personal interpretation using the colour palette I feel I grew up with. A series of oils on board.'



'A series of abstract oils, painted on board. Suspended between two states, the positive and negative charge above and below an imagined horizon representing liminal spaces where anything might change state.'


Ian Harrold 2020