Harrison ('02) paintings, assemblage sculptures on exhibit at Wofford; Works explore relationship of man-made items to natural world

June 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

Matthew Harrison uses his artwork – paintings and assemblage sculptures – to explore the relationship between man-made items and the natural world. He combines cast-off pieces of metal with bamboo roots and acorns, drill parts with cicada shells. They find an uneasy partnership in his representations of the human spirit.

Some of these works by the Spartanburg native can be seen in an exhibition at the Sandor Teszler Library Gallery at Wofford College through Aug. 17.

“Matt Harrison’s works dance with vibrant primary colors, and with a hefty dose of darker emotional tones,” says Oakley Coburn, director of cultural affairs and dean of the Sandor Teszler Library. “His assemblage sculptures often seem aggressive in their need to speak to the viewer. His ‘Apocalypse Demon’ bares a mouth filled with red-painted wood screw teeth, a tongue of cast-off cicada shells drifts out of the side of the mouth, while the head of a hoe embeds itself in the side of the head. While initially unsettling, such works suggest a wide range of human emotions and invite exploration of the disparate elements recombined in fresh ways.”

Since graduating from the University of South Carolina Upstate in 2002, with a degree in English, Harrison has traveled widely, and these travels have inspired his creative process.

Only within the past three years has he been creating art in his own fashion. As a self-taught artist, his work falls into a long tradition of taking ready-made objects and images and re-purposing them to reflect a personal aesthetic.

Harrison, who now lives in Seneca, S.C., is pursuing his certificate in the Teaching of English as a Second Language at Greenville Technical College. He hopes to pursue a teaching career overseas as he continues to travel and explore the world and seek out new forms of inspiration.

The Sandor Teszler Library Gallery is open during the library’s summer hours:  Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information contact, Dean Oakley Coburn at coburnoh@wofford.edu or 864-597-4300.