Scale – the relationship between objects and ourselves in space – is a prime consideration of sculptors. And upon entering the front gallery of Sam Harrison’s new show Aggregate, objects black and white, from small to large and from floor to wall are placed beautifully in consideration of this subject.
The figure is another of the subjects at hand. Sensitively modelled in plaster and aggregate, female form is inverted on floor and plinth – the latter is a torso just smaller than life-size that has been flocked. It is a rich surprise. The black flock absorbs light, somehow both enhancing form and denying detail depending on distance and angle of view. The effect is velveteen.
Then there is a big black fragment called Hock on the wall behind, and a smaller flocked work called Tumble on the wall adjacent. The effect is mysterious – the relationship of scale (between works) is mesmerizing. Flocked edges look soft alongside plaster contours sometimes smooth, painted and waxed. Feeling and form are somehow aggregated.
Two small framed and flocked paper works usher us into the gallery behind. They lead us to the end wall, to a triptych of flocked aggregate big and black, which feels like judgement day – abstracted perhaps from Rodin’s Gates of Hell. This is an end but also a beginning. It is the culmination of a brave exhibition. Drawing from life – indeed life drawing from the model is still Harrison’s starting point. But it is the steps from here, in material, scale, process and thinking, which will extend Harrison like never before.