“The conundrum that obsesses me at the moment is the desire to control the image in a highly design-orientated context, whilst being fascinated by the opportunities which a LACK of control can offer. On the one hand the photographs are almost at the mercy of circumstance yet they convey, I think, a sense of real order and harmony. The drawings on the other hand are best done with a sense of abandon; these are gestures made during a process of deep contemplation about a place. It is this duality of intention and chance, control and abandon that offers new and fertile ground with pen and paper.”
Harry Cory Wright, born 1963, is a Norfolk based artist and photographer whose practice has taken him throughout the British Isles as he seeks out what humanises landscape, what energises it with a sense of the prospect, and ultimately separates it from wilderness; exploring our fundamental attraction to place, and the very physical process of being in landscape.
His photographic work is dominated by the use of a single lens on a large format 10×8 inch film camera which records a high level of detail. The camera, medium wide angle lens, type of film and resultant hand print all add to the vital sense of ‘being there’, as the artist concentrates on creating an intense sense of the ‘visual’, the literal beauty of what was there in front of the camera, away from any sense of abstraction.
Contrastingly, Harry has been drawing with increasing intensity for the last 7 years, taking an alternative disciplinary approach to explore the landscape in a more stripped back, minimal yet gestural style. The use of pen on paper and the application of such gestures allows for coincidence, abstraction and chance to take dominant roles; aspects unavailable through his photographic processes. Thus the resultant outcome sees a sense of duality in Cory Wright’s work and the process and materiality used to capture the natural landscape and the relationship it holds to human presence.
As well as being shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Prize at The National Portrait Gallery for his portrait of Maggi Hambling, Harry’s work was included in Landmark: The Fields of Photography at Somerset House, London (2013) curated by William A. Ewing, also featuring work by Darren Almond, Elger Esser, Hirsohi Sugimoto and Thomas Struth.
Solo exhibitions include Six Hour Place, Creake Abbey (2017), Anglia (2015), Hey Charlie (2013) and Place in Mind (2011), at the Eleven Gallery, London. Along with Dual Jet Control (2018), an exhibition of the artists lesser known works on paper and screen prints which explore the North Norfolk salt marshes, exhibited with us at the Fairhurst gallery, Harry Cory Wright also worked as the artist in resident in the workshops of the Fairhurst gallery. The brief for his residency was to ‘chase’ through the possibilities of representing landscape by exploring the simplest of gestural mark-making, where visitors were also invited to watch the fluidity of his process in the gallery space. Harry also worked with the Fairhurst gallery in an online exhibition of relief works; ‘Pastel Reliefs: Place Through Shape, Tone and Colour’ (2020).
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