Harris secures relief funding for expansion to current collection

Posted on - 17th July, 2020 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, City Centre, Preston City Centre, Preston News, Things to Do in and around Preston
Shawanda Corbett, Graveyard shift (2020) glazed stoneware. Photo courtesy the Artist and Corvi-Mora, London. Photo: Marcus Leith.

The Harris has announced it has received funding from the Contemporary Art Society to add a ceramic pairing and work on paper by Shawanda Corbett to its collection.


Corbett was born in Mississippi, America, but is currently working towards her doctoral degree in Fine Art at the University of Oxford. She has just opened her first UK solo show at the Corvi Mora Gallery in London.

Corbett’s vessels come in pairs with beautiful painterly designs. Memories of childhood and of the neighborhood where she grew up are a starting point for her work.

Read more: Harris museum releases updated design plans to reassure concerned Prestonians

Each pair has a personality – and her ceramics are sometimes intended as stand-ins for people that Corbett can remember from growing up. Corbett’s practice also involves performances combining music, dance, prose and poetry.

The Harris hopes to invite Shawanda to Preston, and commission her to create a performance inspired by the Grade I-listed building, once it is safe to do so.

Shawanda Corbett Installation
Installation view of the exhibition “Neighbourhood Garden” by Shawanda Corbett at the Corvi Mora Gallery in London until 31 July 2020. Photo courtesy the Artist and Corvi-Mora, London. Photo: Marcus Leith.

Councillor Peter Kelly, Cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: “We are delighted to have been successful in our application to the Contemporary Art Society’s Rapid Response Fund.

“When we re-open our galleries later this summer we will not only be reflecting on the impact of COVID-19 and the Black Lives Matter movement with our local communities – but also testing new ideas and objects for our major redevelopment project Harris Your Place.

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“The ceramics and drawings by Shawanda Corbett will go on immediate display and be used as points around which we explore ideas relating to memory, community and creativity with our visitors.

“Corbett’s work is hugely inspirational and, when it is completely safe to do so, we hope to invite the artist to Preston to perform so we can showcase the full range of her artistic practice.”

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The CAS Rapid Response Fund, in partnership with Frieze London, is a response to the COVID-19 pandemic to support both artists and museums across the UK.

The fund is designed to support as many different artists and local museums as possible, based on the understanding that our museums will play a vital role in our communities as we exit the crisis.

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Have you visited the Harris since its re-opening? Let us know in the comments below.

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