Harriet Mead has always been inspired by the natural world. Her interests in animals and birds developed from an early age thanks to the influence of her late father, the ornithologist Chris Mead, who was a well known author and broadcaster. Harriet has always been drawn to sculpture and loves using steel to capture the quiet presence of an animal.
Harriet creates her work by welding steel objects together. It is a method and material that she loves due to its strength and adaptability, allowing her to produce work that balances on tiny points of contact. She enjoys the juxtaposition of old tools and discarded items that combine to make a ‘living’ creature and suggest the muscles and contours of the subject. Harriet scavenges from farm yards and sheds and has a wonderful team of friends and enthusiasts who squirrel things away for her. Each item had a former life and in many cases is worn from years of use. She likes to think that she is making natural history from agricultural history.
Harriet's larger sculptures, particularly the earlier public art pieces, are made of welded sheet steel around a strong steel frame but always incorporated some scrap, whether it be barbed wire for bristles, chain links for paws or nails for claws. She uses a plasma cutter to cut the sheet steel and then makes finer alterations using aviation snips. Many of the larger commissions take several months to complete. Her more recent public art pieces are made from old tools, a method which she much prefers.
September 1969 Born in Tring, Hertfordshire
1988-89 Foundation Course at Hertfordshire College of Art and Design, St Albans
1990-93 BA Hons Fine Art (sculpture), Norwich
2001 Elected to SWLA
2004 Council SWLA (Newsletter Editor)
2009 Elected President of SWLA
1989 Henry Brett Gallery Award (SWLA, Mall Galleries)
1999 Gavin Graham Gallery Award (SWLA, Mall Galleries)
2001 Gavin Graham Gallery Award (SWLA, Mall Galleries)
2005 Artists for Nature Young Artists Award
2005 Artists for Nature Residency Great Fen Project, Cambs.
2006 Runner up Capmark Europe Art Award (SWLA, Mall Galleries)
2007 Winner Capmark Europe Art Award (SWLA, Mall Galleries)
2009 Artists for Nature Residency Hula Valley, Israel.
2012 Wildlife Trusts Undersea Art Award.
1989, ’98-2008 Society of Wildlife Artists, Mall Galleries, London.
Here is a selection of galleries at which Harriet has been featured in:
Wildlife Art Gallery Lavenham, Suffolk
Sporting Art Exhibition Tryon Gallery, London
Bergh Apton Sculpture Trail Norfolk Bircham Gallery Holt, Norfolk
Duncan Terrace Gallery, London. Gallery Upstairs Henley-in-Arden
Moya Bucknall Fine Art, Solihull
Buckenham Galleries Southwold, Suffolk
Langham Fine Art, Suffolk
Blake Gallery, York
Fifiefofum Gallery Corbridge, Northumberland
Pinkfoot Gallery, Cley-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.
The Gallery at Sculpture by the Lakes, near Dorchester, Dorset.
PUBLIC ART COMMISSIONS
2006 Suffolk Trinity. Commission for entrance to Trinity Park, Ipswich (formerly known as the Suffolk Showground) Life sized Suffolk horse, redpoll bull and Suffolk ram in welded steel.
2007 Man and Horse. Commissioned by Dromore community, Co Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Life sized plough horse being led by a man.