Harry Roberts: Oranges, Student Life and Solo Shows
Follow Harry on Instagram @hp.roberts
I came across Harry Roberts on Instagram. Collecting work is almost as fun as making it and this is now my favourite place to find it. Harry is currently studying at Camberwell College of Art and he's doing incredibly well already, even more impressive is that he's only in his second year. Scroll down to see more.
You’re currently studying at Camberwell College of Art, an art school I know very well. How’s your time been here and what’re you enjoying about being a student?
It's been really great for me so far. I love having to be self-disciplined and motivated, and it's been a really productive time here. The tutors are great, and the access to criticism and time has meant my work has gone through a lot in a short period. It's becoming more refined all the time. I grew up in Cornwall so being in London is exciting for me, and being a student means I can prioritise my painting whilst I'm here – which will obviously become harder post-graduation.
Your first solo show opens at Tungsten Gallery in London (24th of February). What can we expect to see?
It's something I'm really excited about – it's a great space! It'll be a show of paintings I've made in the last couple of months, so they feel like a good representation of where my practice is at right now. Many of the paintings I haven't shared on Instagram yet, in order to keep them exclusive and fresh for the show, which felt important to me. There's lots of footwear, lots of food and lots of text in the paintings, and I'm pleased with how they are looking. It's my first ever solo show so it's a great opportunity for me to see how they feel out of the studio and to get some feedback.
You’ve titled your show ‘Someone Somewhere is Eating the Best Orange of Their Life’. Why so, and what is the main theme surrounding the works you’ll exhibit here?
I think on a very basic level it’s a funny and optimistic idea. It celebrates small joys which I think is important to do. There's an involvement in individual experience, as well a consideration of things outside yourself. It's beyond oranges, even just to think about all the people everywhere waiting for buses or watching telly feels huge to me, let alone to think about how they all feel.
Even cliché things or common things can be a bit grey. I suppose it's more viable to be involved in my own experiences and interests first, which then inevitably have the potential for commonness in them. I think the paintings have a real joy about them, whether that’s from looking at things like leisure, place or consumption. However, they are more complex than simply reducing them to that as there's a real tension between content that's familiar and content that's exclusive or private, which means I can only really ever speculate about how they may read.
What one piece of advice would you give a prospective student currently thinking about enrolling on a fine art course this year?
Just to go into the studio as much as possible. It can be such a fun and rich environment, and it is really such a safe place for allowing things to happen. I use all the people around me as sounding boards for concerns or thoughts I'm having, and I think the discussion is often just as useful as the making. I talk a lot and I make a lot, and it's just such an enjoyable and indulgent time!
Harry’s debut solo show opens at Tungsten Gallery in London on the 24th of February 2018. Go and check it out, you’ll want to see his paintings in person.
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Written by John Bingham, founder of Bingham.