Rain Harris received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1997. She has been part of The Resident Artist program at The Clay Studio for the past five years, and this will be her farewell exhibition. With this exhibition, Harris returns to an earlier body of work entitled the Poison Bottle Series, except on a much grander scale. These large-scale vessels are more decadent, if possible, than those of her past. Her incredibly seductive, bulbous and tentacle laden vessel forms, meticulously crafted and ornately decorated, reference historic perfume flasks. The name of the series refers to the lethal materials women historically used to beautify themselves such as cadmium and white lead. Each bottle's aesthetic celebrates excess, playing with the contradictions inherent in the elegant yet tasteless object, a perfect synthesis of high art and low art. The objects succinctly comment on our narcissistic, body obsessed culture and sing the praises of decadent excess, celebrating the beautiful while at the same time questioning it.
"I look to the contradictions that reside between the tasteful and the tawdry and I create arguably elegant objects that oscillate between good and bad taste. I integrate lowbrow craft materials such as feathers, rhinestones and beaded trim into my work to create refined objects that teeter on the edge of ironic gaudiness. I want the viewer to question their own perceptions of wealth and taste by presenting them ambiguous luxury objects that tread a thin line between refined elegance and brash tackiness."
— Rain Harris
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