Geoff Harrison - 'Glimpses of Another World'

Wednesday 23 March - Saturday 9 April 2022

'With this exhibition, I am returning to an earlier theme in my art practice, that of institutional environments. The contrast between internal and external light is crucial in this work. But also, there is the theme of mental incarceration. The mind can play cruel games with us, imprisoning us with our own thoughts and inner turmoil. Locked away in our preoccupations, our loneliness, there is a world out there that we sometimes feel unable to engage with.

The windows in these scenes could be computer screens in our so-called connected age.  Or they could be transparencies through which we view the world, made semi opaque by our preoccupations and inner turmoil. But, as Olivia Laing discusses in her book The Lonely City, windows can be analogous to eyes.  Thus a sense of being walled off from the world is combined, even exacerbated by a sense of almost unbearable exposure.

I was tempted to title this exhibition Lost Connections, borrowed from the title of a book written by Johan Hari in which he discusses the real causes of depression and some surprising cures. But as Olivia Laing explains, loneliness can be the catalyst for creativity, for seeing the world with remarkable clarity.

The dynamic between sanctuary and confinement, beauty and loneliness often informs my work. The source material may be a photograph I took a few weeks ago, or many years ago. Light is used to create a sense of beauty or quiet contemplation in a scene that some may find disturbing.