Matthew Harrison and The Hut Project

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In The Saddle – Matthew Harrison
It’s Not You, It’s Me – The Hut Project

Opening 29th of August 2008, 5-8 pm

BolteLang gallery reopens after the summer break with a challenge of three against one, when The Hut Project size up solo artist Matthew Harrison. Both artists showed at Associates, a project space initiated by the British artist Ryan Gander with the aim of introducing young artists to critics, curators and commercial galleries. BolteLang took advantage of this platform and invited some of the artists involved to show with them.

The Hut Project is made up of Chris Bird (Birmingham, 1971), Ian Evans (Glasgow, 1982) and Alec Steadman (Sidcup, 1983) who met at Middlesex University, London, whilst studying art.  Their shared sense of alienation from the art school system led to a work constructing a wooden hut on the grounds of the campus, a secure standpoint on the ‘outside’ of the studio model, and The Hut Project was born.  Since then their work has evolved but continues to query arbiters of success in the creative economy; it is irreverent and often caustic but also contains an inherent contradiction – however critical they are of the system, they are still driven to create and operate within it.

Matthew Harrison (Bolton, 1974) studied at the University of West England, Bristol before completing a MA in Fine Art from Sheffield Hallam University. Harrison’s position is deliberately instable as well, between being an artist or non-artist.  Not only does he feel compelled to have other purposeful employment in tandem with his practice as an artist, but his art is also often painstakingly fabricated by hand to have the appearance of something readymade.  Despite pointedly operating on the perimeter of the art world, the key catalyst of his works is perhaps the most significant figure in the history of contemporary art, Marcel Duchamp.

For this exhibition Harrison presents In The Saddle, a title that reflects his physical commitment to his work.  The works include the ever-expanding Assembly, here in its second rendering, a sculpture created out of aluminium and bicycle handle grips.  The largest work is an item of furniture which Harrison has created in collaboration with fellow artist Garreth Hughes, a work that offers the pair two seating options: one end a space for relaxing and meditation; the other an office environment for concentrated work.  In choosing either option, they make the other position untenable; the object is equally predisposed to encourage diligence or idleness.

In contrast to Harrison’s hands-on input, The Hut Project present the vicarious show It’s Not You, It’s Me, an exhibition within an exhibition composed of works donated by artists from Limoncello, the gallery that represents them in London. In response to The Hut Project’s request, the artists including Harrison have each supplied a work to become part of a single object authored by The Hut Project.

In 2008 both the Hut Project and Matthew Harrison have had solo exhibitions at Limoncello; Harrison has also contributed to a group show at Phillips de Pury & Company in New York, while The Hut Project had a solo exhibition as part of Nought to Sixty at the ICA in London.

The exhibition runs from 30 August – 11 October 2008.

Exhibition documentation