Art based in observation underlines the importance of the act of seeing. With a deft hand for the miniature and a fair dose of wonder for life observed, Claire Harvey transforms everyday materials and witnessed subjects into fascinating microcosms. As if looking simultaneously in aerial and close-up views, she constructs roving constellations of people into which we can project ourselves or become part of the image.
In her twin investigation of portraiture and medium, Harvey re-purposes glass slides and ordinary office supply—sticky-tack, scotch tape, post-it notes—into the substrate that holds these small worlds of her invention. Capturing moments while in transit in Harvey’s adopted city of Amsterdam and her native London, her portable and small-scale portraits become a travelogue of her own city, a search for connection with the anonymous figure in the crowd.
For her first solo museum show in the US at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Harvey has assembled an immersive installation completely on site entitled Into the Ordinary. As if to embrace the ephemeral nature of human experience through her work, we are invited to enter knowing it will never again reappear in this particular configuration.