by Marcos Chin in New Art on Tuesday 15 April 2008

New York-based artist Joshua Harris makes movable sculptural artwork out of plastic bags, harnessing the air from subway grates to give them a sense of life. We asked him what inspires and informs his work: ‘While I was walking on the street, I happened to notice a piece of orange construction tape rising from a subway exhaust grate. It just glided skyward, almost asking for attention. I then became interested in what that wind could do and how I could work with it’. What are the materials that you use? Is there any significance in terms of that and of location? ‘I have been constructing these sculptures out of discarded shopping bags. Recently I think we have all become more aware of our human footprint and what it means for our environment. And that we all have a space in our kitchen were these bags begin to accumulate. The two ideas just seemed to fit — the subway system could inflate the unused bags giving them a new purpose and I could experiment with the wind. For me, it was just a place to explore and play. The interpretations of my work are out of my control. As artists, we initiate a dialogue which in turn creates different associations. Some people have suggested that the polar bear is an icon of global warming and that the wind is an example of a renewable energy. When the bear is animated, he looks happy, and when the resource is gone, the bear slowly dies. I find this explanation encouraging’. [more about Joshua Allen Harris]
Joshua Allen Harris
Joshua Allen Harris
Joshua Allen Harris
Joshua Allen Harris