Anomaly Island

Opening reception: 24th November 6.00 – 9.00pm
Exhibition runs: 25th November – 11th December 2011
Film and discussion evening: 7th December 2011 7.30pm

As the smoke of smouldering cinders from this summer’s riots lingers in the air we hear the sound of raked seating being unbolted from The Lord Mayors Parade. Against this backdrop with all its gilded pomp and lollipop glory neatly screening the fledgeling feathers of the protest camp at St Paul’s, Harriet Murray installs her new exhibition Anomaly Island.


Conjuring multiple references through an English history from Daniel Defoe to Nick Clegg, Anomaly Island draws us to uneasy shores. Murray’s new installation raises questions by the handful and unloads them at our feet.

Personal psychology and thought are individual outcrops surrounded by oceans. We are islands of neuro-linguistic flowerings, electro-chemical broth, where life choices must be negotiated through a maze of ‘nurture’ neurons, ‘nature’ quarks and daily bombardment by symbols of corporatized power and culture.

Life goes on, we go to work, we butter the toast, but what happens when our compliance barometer begins to beep and we recalibrate our assumptions and shred old expectations?

Murray’s new work explores the complex relationships between, the known self and the revealed self, between first world comforts and the desire to escape its suffocation, our need for community and our longing for peace, solitude and time to reflect. Making a home, is at the heart of what it is to be human, making a shelter is a matter of survival. For what is a bird without a nest?

Teetering on an edge between a glamorous glance to an idealized existence and a very human struggle of survival, Anomaly Island presents us with three distinctive artworks brought together at Campbell Works. An ‘Englishman’s castle’ made from patriotic vegetable boxes filled with a lifetime of memorabilia, a ghostly raft that offers to transport us through the veil, and an elegiac video of perennial calm. “et domus sua cuique est tutissimum refugium [and each man’s home is his safest refuge].”

Artist/curator Harriet Murray has been creating ambitious interactive and collaborative projects for the past 10 years, weaving a route through the commercial, experimental, and public realms. She has worked and exhibited across London, Vienna, Edinburgh, Brighton, Berlin and Potsdam. Murray’s work examines the complexities of interpretation, exploring what is inherent within an artwork and what an audience brings to it, so making our own imaginations visible. Her fascination with the intimate relationship between internal and external realities gives her work an uneasy twist, delving to the limits of acceptability and exploring the impossibility of hiding what should perhaps remain hidden. By using everyday objects and familiar subject matter Murray challenges us to look again and re-examine what we thought we knew so well.

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