Chad Harris | Artist Statement
Since the early 2000s, the focus of my work has been atmosphere and mood, as expressed through color and history. Throughout my art studies at Louisiana Tech University and throughout my filmmaking career I have always found it incredible that the emotional resonance of something can be extremely altered or deepened just by changing the color. This fact inspires me to pursue the study of color relationships and its effects on environments. In addition, I have always been inspired by the patina that life projects upon objects. I love to find the history of work, the wear and tear, the erosion, the weathering, and the dwindling down from daily use upon an object. This history of life creates an atmosphere and mood unique to that object.
The piece entitled Hurdy Gurdy #3 is from an on-going series of musical instrument sculptures I began in late 2005, when I needed a working Hurdy Gurdy for a film project. Each of the life sized instruments in the series is created with the basic structural needs for the specific instrument in mind, and then I depart from that function towards a new form that presents itself as I pull from items that interest me. For example, with Hurdy Gurdy #3, I started with a brief diagram that read “Fret-Resonating Chamber-Wheel- Bridge.” These are the basic structural needs for an instrument to be classified as a Hurdy Gurdy. Next, I pulled all sorts of odds and ends that individually inspired me through shape, texture, and color, and then I pieced the instrument together, retaining the patina and history of the found objects. By the end, I hope to have created a new emotional form of the instrument while retaining its functional integrity and celebrating its history.