Margaret Harrison (b.1940) lives in Carlisle, Cumbria. Margaret Harrison's drawings, paintings and documentary installations on serious contemporary issues, depict images gathered from popular culture and the politics of culture. In her detailed drawings and paintings, she often features iconic cultural figures, distorted to create humorous twists, with a feminist edge. She has shown Captain America with comedy breasts and high heels: Hugh Heffner dressed as a Bunny Boy. In her installation at Leeds City Art Gallery (for which she was awarded the Northern Arts Prize this year), the Lady of Shalott gazes at Lady Gaga in her meat dress. Harrison studied at Carlisle College of Art (1957-61), Royal Academy Schools, London (1961-64) and the Academy of Art, Perugia, Italy (1965). Harrison has been producing work and exhibitions world wide since the 1970s and has shown work at the ICA, Hayward Gallery, the V&A and the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; The New Museum & MOMA PS1, New York; the Payne Shurvell Gallery, London and Silberkuppe Gallery, Berlin. She was the only British Artist represented in the 2009 Istanbul Biennial, and is currently showing in "Glam the Performance of Style" now at Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz Austria, as well as Tate Modern and Tate Britain. Margaret Harrison is the current holder of the Northern Art Prize. MIMA will host her one person show in 2015.
Margaret Harrison | I am particularly pleased with this award because the founder Paul Hamlyn was not only an entrepreneur, but a believer in giving back some of his wealth to society, particularly to education and the arts. This award enables me to continue to produce in spite of critical pressures which will inevitably follow me around. It gives me a space somewhere between academia and the art market to continue to take often-unpopular directions and leaps into the unknown to continue to realise an aesthetic of issues.