In January, we headed off once again for another trip, this time to Bradford to see the Copper Horses exhibition made by Chris Harrison.
The background for the this projects was that when Chris was a young lad, he used to think that his dad was a superhero due to all the machines and wonderful things he used to be working. However though, in reality his dad was just an ordinary worker in a factory who used to machinery parts (this was a very high skilled job though to be working in)
In the first part of projects, Harrison focuses on the pieces and parts that his Dad used to make and sometimes bring home on the odd occasion to work on, bringing part of this intimate life back to home which originally fueled Harrison’s imagination when he was young.
So and not just showing us that his father used to work in a factory, Harrison wanted to take it to the next level and show the true meaning behind it all. There was one machine that his father used to work on in his working days, so Harrison wanted to focus on that the most. In each picture on the individual machine parks, Harrison wanted to show the deeper meaning each part had with his father. Each picture is filled with a high amount of detail so that nothing is left hidden away.
The reason this part of the project works is that as a collection all these pictures work well in combination in telling a story about Harrison’s dad. He hasn’t forgotten the stories that his dad used to tell him, but rather he has embraced it and has been able to keep it in his memory forever through these pictures.
The second part of the exhibtion in Copper Horses was still based on his Dad but how he is today. He gave a bit of context before hand talking about there was a beach his family all used to go to, where his dad (who used to be a very good swimmer back then) would swim so far out until he couldn’t be seen at all. And then he would come back to the beach. He once said that his dad wanted to swim across the channel, but due to an injury that he sustained he wasn’t able to do this at all.
In these pictures, he has his now elderly dad standing on the beach with his back to the camera looking out to sea in his swimming gear, and over the 8 pictures it shows the tide slowly coming into the beach, with the last picture showing the water around his dad’s ankles.
Overall, in this project Harrison said that he was “kinda interested in industrial and how it’s something that’s forgotten about.” The exhibition was the result of Chris thinking about his relationship with his dad and how it has changed, with Harrison wanting to “instil a feeling of pride in the skill and creativity of ordinary people and in what they do for a living”. And i can say that Harrison actually has managed to do that very well as it does strike on a personal level with everyone one with us due to our parents working.
They do so much for us just to provide and care, and as children we look up to them so much and hold them in high regard that they can do no wrong at all.