Artistic Practice

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My name is Paige Harris, and I am a full-time artist and crafter currently working out of my home studio in Calgary, Alberta. As an artist, I have an extensive education and occupational background. I earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts with a major in sculpture from the Alberta College of Art + Design (Now AUArts) in 2017. Since that time, I have worked full-time in a prop-making studio for three and a half years, and resigned in 2021 to pursue my artistic practice and entrepreneurship of my pottery business, branded SunDay Ceramics. I produce colourful pottery, jewelry and small sculptures that utilize themes derived from nature, nostalgia and growth. Although I am quiet skilled in 3D mediums and perspectives I also have a variety of experience painting in 2D using acrylic, oil, spray paint, spray gun and airbrushing techniques in both small and large scale.  

While my pottery production is visually playful and innocent, my individual artistic practice takes on a visceral subject matter, comparing and correlating suffering to the human experience. My work begs to answer the question: Can there be beauty in suffering?  Rather than submitting to the habitual reponse of running from pain and struggle, I attempt to magnify and cradle it, to place pain high on a pedestal and honour it for how it strengthens us. 

 In Psychiatrist Viktor E. Frankl’s (1962) mémoire, Man’s Search for Meaning, Frankl recounts surviving the Nazi death camps as a Jewish intellectual. In the telling of his experiences, Frankl argues we cannot avoid our suffering but may instead seek meaning in it and move forward with purpose. Since reading Frankl’s mémoire, I have comitted to immerse myself within my own suffering and analyze its purpose through a variety of artistic mediums, including acrylic paint, clay, photography, and mixed media.

I encourage my audience to view my work through the lens of their own perspectives, producing their own empirical questions about the human experience. I intend to reduce the humiliation of trauma and mental illness and encourage people to be vulnerable, compassionate and courageous within their own suffering:

“But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.” -Viktor E. Frankl.

Frankl, Viktor E. (1962). Man's search for meaning: an introduction to logotherapy. Beacon Press.

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