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Jan Harrison

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Jan Harrison's paintings and sculptures involve empathy with the animal nature, evolution, and the collective psyche. Her work is considered to be an influence in the investigation of the animal/human interface in art. Her art has been shown in over one hundred and twenty solo and group exhibitions, including Animal.Anima.Animus, which opened in Finland, and traveled to Holland, Canada, and PS1 in New York. A chapter on her work is included in the book, In The Making: Creative Options for Contemporary Art, Linda Weintraub, published by d.a.p., Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., New York, NY. She speaks, sings, and performs in a language, Animal Tongues.
Messenger-Big Cats Series
Messenger-Big Cats Series
Blue Mountain Lion-Big Cats Series
Blue Mountain Lion-Big Cats Series
Big Cat-Mountain Lion with Foliage Fur Private Col
Big Cat-Mountain Lion with Foliage Fur Private Col

Crossing Over to Jan Harrison ©George Quasha

One reason why we don't easily experience other dimensions is our fear of meeting up with monstrous otherness. We fear fusion. We are careful about who we let get into us, under our skin, lest we sow dark seed in our imaginal garden. We the people spread our lobes for the palatable, the desirable, the familiar, or else corralled wildness, the jungle zoos of horror flicks and their amusement park frissons. Fearing possession we prefer our genies/our genius bottled. Yet the truly exotic and the perilous have their own attraction, threatening our sense of order, because actual strangeness also belongs to the erotic. When the monstrous becomes irresistible we fear the influence of devils, magic. Deep down we retain knowledge contained in the word itself — monster and mind have a common Indo-European root, men- as in mental, memory, mania, mantic, muse, music, mantra. A monstrance for Catholics is a receptacle of the Host. The sacred is held at but a sleight remove from the aesthetics of sex with the devil himself. Think of Milton's covertly powerful Satan in Paradise Lost or Blake's inverse bible, The Marriage of Heaven & Hell, with good guy devils and bad guy angels. Clearly it's all a matter of view, disposition, tolerance, taste, and, most important, the precise demands of individual nature. Occasionally an artist embodies the full manifold, a many-folding mind field, a replete and monstrous sheath turning out an underside of mind and, as Blake said, "the infinite which was hid." Jan Harrison answers to this description in her own way. She thrives in the strange view. Her work says in every stroke: scratch the elegant surface and you strike an icon, letting its daemon out.(cont)

"I was walking by a river, and I came upon a bird. The bird was very beautiful, and very perfect. I wanted to talk to the bird but I didn't know how. I looked down and saw that around the bird's neck was a shiny medallion. Then I saw that around my own neck was a shiny medallion. I touched the medallions together, and at that moment the bird began to sing in a language I understood. I looked down again and saw that the bird's feet were becoming paws or hands."
1979 dream
Tiny Snow Leopard  Private Collection
Tiny Snow Leopard Private Collection
Kingston, NY
New York
North America

T: 1 845 3382730
F: 1 845 3382730
M: 1 845 8533997
w: http://janharrison.net



Web Links
PAJ Journal of Performance and Art
Primary Website for Jan Harrison
Wikipedia page
AskART Biographical Information
Video of Jan Harrison Performing in Animal Tongues
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