Claire Harris

b. 1982

Raised in Gore and Christchurch and based in Wellington, Harris’ practice includes narrative media such as video, installation and live performance, approached from a background in photography and self- published indie comics.

Drawing on celebrity and fan cultures, and on the cultural fabric of her childhood, including family history and globalised American popular culture, Harris’ work often manifests as the fan made and/or homemade object. The use of humour in her work is “both purposeful and inevitable. "When I’m serious people think it’s funny, and when I’m genuine it gets called irony.”

Combining humour, vulnerability, cultural narratives, memory, and her own embodied experience as female, fat and anxious, Harris creates and examines the narrative and performance of self. “I’ve said that I make art to compensate for social awkwardness, but it’s probably more true to say I’m fascinated by the idea of people being themselves. So much of any art I make is about how do I, or anyone else, go about being a person? How do we become people we are, and how do we create, enact, and maintain our identities. For me, the process itself of art making is a way of testing and inventing my strategies and tactics of existing in this world, while interacting with other people and trying to get anything done.”

Harris graduated from University of Canterbury School of Fine Arts in 2005, majoring in photography, and completed a Post Graduate Diploma of Fine Arts at Massey University in 2009.

Selected exhibitions

2019 M/other, Te Kōputu a te whanga a Toi, Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre

2018 Masons Screen, Wellington

2017 Fantasing Perform Live (with Fantasing collective), Cindy Sherman Symposium, City Gallery Wellington

2016
More Jokes, Bus Projects, Melbourne
Artist in Residence (with Fantasing collective), The Audio Foundation, Auckland

2015
Parkin Drawing Prize, New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, Wellington
Excess Baggage, Blue Oyster Art Project Space, Dunedin

2015
Rocked Stars (with Fantasing collective), The Engine Room, Wellington
Stars Rocked (with Fantasing collective), The Physics Room, Christchurch

2013 Through the Keyhole, Enjoy Public Art Gallery, Wellington
2011 Typical Girls: Comedic Feminist Video from Wellington, The New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington

2010 
A Horse Walks Into a Bar, The New Zealand Film Archive, Wellington
Knowing You, Knowing Me: New Artists Show, ARTSPACE, Auckland