Lois Harkin

I am a 21-year-old artist born and raised in the North-Earth where I studied Fine Art at the Northern School of Art. Now, I now live in Lincoln where I’ve studied for my Fine Art Degree. Over the past five years, I have developed my composition to explore a sense of tension and ambiguity by using jarring colour palates and playful presentation of text and objects. I have directed my practice to take on various forms intended to challenge specific palates, simplified metaphoric objects, and conversational texts. Each area of my practice focuses on demonstrating a snippet of an experience or memory.

Please can you explain the process and how you go about creating a series of work?

The process in the production of a body of work is different each time. More recently, I am challenging what ‘site’ can influence in painting. I am using a memorable site as the material to generate a colour palate from, displaying an abstracted view on specific sites and locations for the audience to engage with. After this material is collected, I engage with metaphoric objects and texts to complete the composition.

Who and where do you draw your main influences from?

The influences in my practice come from everyday encounters and general experiences/ memories with people, places, conversations etc. 

Can you tell us a bit about your upcoming virtual exhibition? 

My upcoming virtual exhibition is something I am extremely excited for.

Coming May, 2020 (see instagram page for updates and dates)

Unfortunately, due to the unfortunate circumstances of the current times my degree show is no longer a physical one, this was my response to moving online. 

‘How We Do It’ is a project that focuses on the issues and identities that surround Redcar and Dormanstown. In an autobiographical and abstracted approach, this body of work, explored through paintings and representational objects, focuses on themes such as social stereotyping, community, crime, drug misuse, and lack of opportunity.

‘Site’ and using the gallery as a gestural space are ideas that have inspired the virtual exhibition design. The structural design for this exhibition is inspired by the physical structures and builds in Redcar and Dormanstown. Throughout the space, gestural spaces that replicate these environments are curated throughout.

This virtual exhibition not only displays and narrates a collective of research-based paintings, it expands the field of what an exhibition space can be and represent, as well as understand and take into consideration the limitation of a physical exhibition; it shows the audience an alternative to ‘visiting’ an exhibition and viewing artwork.

Is there a message or feeling you hope to provoke through your work?

I want the audience that view my work to have their own opinion and views about it rather me telling them what to think or feel. I want my practice to be ambiguous and challenge people’s ideas of what they think about it. I have concepts and understandings partnered with my work, but I invite interpretation and creativity when viewing it.

Any additional plans for the future you would like to share? 

The focus at the minute is to publish the virtual exhibition. Afterwards, I am going to be focusing on individual paintings and will aim to exhibit them physically…when I can.


TOMORROW CREATES X LOIS HARKIN