Features

Rowena Harris

Through moving image and CGI, sculpture and installation Rowena Harris explores bio-cultural and socio-medical dynamics that flow through and affect human bodies differently. In often understated ways, their work communicates through sensory plays, affective tones and reflexive narrative, and where these work as modes to unsettle normative assumptions about thinking and feeling bodies in space and time.

All images Courtesy by the artist

Informed by crip theory and knowledge from their own health experiences, their work is increasingly concerned with invisible disability and structures of ableism, as well as vectors of power within societal factors that shape how we feel, understand and make sense of our own bodies. Over recent years they have become invested in how knowledges from disability and crip-ness can inform methods, rhythms, structures and sensibilities for making work.

Rowena’s most recent work explores long-covid and the inherited context it arrives into concerning the condition ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) – a condition caught in the legacy of hysteria, and through which, and forever since, has produced a denial of research, treatment and care. As a work that began in different forms pre-pandemic and unfolded through their own entanglement with ME and then long-covid, they consider that this work also became sick in this period. Through this, they explore what a filmic sickness might mean and its slipperiness with their own. Their new work introduces their engagement with CG animation, where they have been exploring CGI’s uncanny valley for its resonance with feeling unwell – of not quite feeling human, but trying to be convincingly human nonetheless.

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