Oil on canvas
15 3/4 x 9 3/4 inches
Callum Harvey’s work interrogates spatial environments, in particular how we relate to the spaces we inhabit and how we use motifs and form in order to construct them. Often exploring botanical motifs or taking inspiration from the natural world, as in this painting, Caulicole, Harvey draws on the traditions of the Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts movements to examine how we utilise naturalist symbolism to shape the space around us.
The artist’s work exists at the boundary between the natural and the architectural. Simultaneously flattening space and altering perspective, Harvey shifts his subject matter into an illusory realm. To heighten this effect, Harvey builds up his compositions through multiple layers of thin, transparent paint, which he renders in soft, muted colours. In Caulicole, this effect lends the botanical forms a sculptural solidity, while the sweeping organic pattern and dense foliage also liberate the motif and invigorate the canvas with a lightness and fluidity. The painting alludes to the acanthus leaf design which has been repeated across Western architectural traditions and ornamentation since Ancient Greece. Often used as a decorative motif for borders or boundaries, such as on the capitals of Corinthian columns, Harvey is drawn to the transitional space which the motif inhabits for his own studies of transformation and the reciprocal nature of the relationship between ourselves and our environment.
B. United Kingdom1998
Callum Harvey’s work explores architectural details and pattern. Creating ambiguous spatial environments, Harvey investigates how architecture and design inform spatial relations. Often focusing on a single, repeated pattern or detail, Harvey’s paintings, rendered in a soft colour palette, highlight the mundane and that which gets often overlooked. Reproducing these motifs , often on a monumental scale, Harvey playfully alters perspectives, offering new ways of seeing.
Harvey’s work has been exhibited in the UK. He completed an MFA in painting at the Royal College of Art in 2023. He lives and works in London.