Kelley Harwood

I make visible what I perceive, collect, research, and interpret about a specific place. Currently, my practice employs methods of traditional observational drawing and site-responsive strategies such as mining photographs, collecting oral histories and researching local sources. After researching and experiencing a place, I begin a work based on a central idea or image and the impulse to make a drawing or series of drawings. I draw what I can see and what I can’t see. The observed space becomes a dreamspace, a starting place for me to experience, invent and remember.

The material of charcoal and dry pigment carries connotations of smoke, dust, age, bones, and air. In my physical and digital drawings, I move the particles until they settle into place. I wait for the people to appear. My work foregrounds my subjectivity—my curiosity about the past in an anthropological sense, my desire to connect with the recent and distant past in an idiosyncratic way, and my embodied experience of the physical place.

I’m interested in the many ways the image and its making reflect time. I respond to what is happening in the place now, what has happened in the past, and where I see the past and present overlap. One image holds many marks made over time. Some images seem like a frozen moment. The recent digital images and animation present time in an experiential way. Themes of absence, presence, photography, observation, and how we inhabit space are also in my work. I am driven by the desire to see how the present is changed by the sudden appearance of the past.