'I am on a quest to inspire': Exhibition by glassblower Chris Day opens at All Saints’ Church in Harewood
A glassblower's exhibition highlighting black history has opened as part of a new craft series launched by Harewood House Trust
The event, at Harewood’s All Saints’ Church, aims to provide a platform for emerging artists of diverse ethnicities in the craft sector.
Chris, the first artist to display at the event, creates glass works to open conversations around black history including the transatlantic slave trade.
He said: “I have pushed my approach in how I work with glass and ceramics in both traditional and experimental methods, to create contemporary artworks that represent my passion for this part of our history.
"As a black glassblower, I am one of few and on a quest to find and inspire more.
"My main purpose, however, is to engage the audience on issues that are hard to confront on many levels, using art to help overcome some of the traumas that haunt our collective past”
Chris' intention is to discuss and investigate the treatment of black people in Britain and the USA, with much of his research focused on the history of the slave trade in the eighteenth century and the civil rights movement.
Iwona Blazwick, trustee of Harewood House Trust and director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery, in London, said: “He evokes not just the ghosts of slavery but an unnerving human presence – I think he has achieved something very profound.”
Chris art caught the eye of Hannah Obee, director of collections, programme and learning at Harewood House Trust when she was developing the new craft spotlight series.
She said: “During our 2019 Harewood Craft Biennial, I read a report that 96 per cent of professional, full-time crafts people identified as white British.
"We had already decided this lack of diversity would be a key subject for discussion in the next Harewood Biennial.
"What we needed though was a consistent response to this lack of racial equality in the craft world, so we developed the Craft Spotlight series.”
Chris, an emerging glass and mixed media artist and a recent graduate from Wolverhampton University, is represented in many important private collections and public institutions, including the National Museum of Scotland and The Chrysler Museum.
His exhibition will be on display until October 31. Access to All Saints’ Church and the exhibition is included in Harewood Day tickets or free to members.
All Saints’ Church is cared for by The Churches Conservation Trust who have allowed it to be used as a venue for the duration of this exhibition free of charge.
Visit harewood.org for more information.