Furious Hair-Hauling Harpie
A wonderful box-framed creature sculpture using found and recycled objects to create a humorous piece.
The Furious Hair-Hauling Harpie is a bird-woman, bereft of any creative talent and pulls out the hairs of artists' brushes in jealous frenzy, causing much confusion in humans.
The outer frame measurement: 15cm (w) x 20cm (h) x 4cm (d).
Hand crafted with love and imagination by Particle Article - a collaboration comprising of Amy Nightingale and Claire Benson.
About Particle Article
Claire and Amy are sisters who have been working together since 2007.
Amy graduated in 2007 from Nottingham Trent University with a BA (Hons) in Textile Design. Amy specialised in embroidery and developed pieces with a handmade, precious feel, fusing metals, plastics, fabrics and found materials, combining traditional and contemporary techniques and styles. She has also been influenced by her experience in jewellery making and bridal gown design. In 2006 she was awarded third prize in Bradford Textile Society’s competition in the category ‘Crossing The Boundaries’. In 2007 Amy presented to the Nottingham Branch of the Embroiderers Guild, and has been awarded third prize in the Hand and Lock International Embroidery Competition. She has exhibited her work at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Amy currently works as a designer for a high street clothing brand. Amy enjoys animation, photography and fine art.
Claire has been an Occupational Therapist in Mental Health since 1997. She uses creative activities to enable recovery from mental illness. She has also taught a variety of creative techniques in Adult Education, to a wide range of client groups in diverse settings. She currently works with people who have eating disorders and is particularly interested in the process and meaning of everyday activity and how this relates to mental wellbeing. She is also employed by Birmingham City Council with preschool children, working with recycled materials, and has recently been involved with creative partnerships in schools. She is a self taught artist whose influences include poetry, punk, animation, recycling and obsessive hoarding.
We create intricate, quirky sculptures of winged creatures from abandoned and reclaimed materials, both organic and manmade. Our fragile figurines often resemble insects, fairies, angels, or hybrids of these. Each creature is mounted in a simple white box frame labelled with a unique name. We often contain a short narrative describing their secret activities and mischievous nature, giving the piece a humorous twist. We draw inspiration from the insects we observe in our own surroundings, and the displays in natural history collections. We fuse this with memories from our imaginative play as children, and ideas from popular mythology and legend.
We imagine our creatures to be members of an unclassified species; the protectors and preservers of common everyday objects, the value of which has diminished in our modern age. They come to life when humans are absent, scurrying through the mundane and unused items people keep but never use. Our work is linked to nostalgia and memory, as the materials we use have had past lives; the man-made items are now without purpose due to changes in social practices and fashion. The wings symbolise transformation, where new life force is breathed into the items people discard. We believe that our work helps to focus the observer on the beauty of everyday objects and forces them to reconsider the notion that ‘new equals beautiful’, and to make a statement about the throwaway society in which we live.
We combine unusual materials such as skeletal leaves and scraps of plastic. These are obtained as we go through our everyday lives, in the garden or park, on beaches, as we empty our bins. By using personal items we imbue our creatures with our own essence. We use our imagination to manipulate the function of everyday objects; a pen nib becomes a beak; watch cogs, ornate keys and lightbulbs become fragile bodies; fragments of silk scarves become delicate wings. We fuse traditional and contemporary techniques. Conventional stitching and beading is then burned and distressed; welded wire is partly covered in tiny scraps of newspaper. We work together allowing our creatures to evolve in response to the shape and texture of our materials.