What is an Actor Artist?
In honesty I don’t quite know I think I might have made the title up but it seems to fit who I am.
On one hand I am a formally trained Actor and the other hand wields a paintbrush as an Artist; who specialises highly detailed abstract works. As a creator I adore combining these two vibrant and boundless worlds. Curious?
Let’s take a look at how I have fused Actor and Artist within some recent productions.
Designer note :
‘Harry is a very talented performer, painter and crafts person. She has collaborated in two of my set design and her participation was always very profound and intense. Her caring attitude makes always the process very rich and rewarding. A great pleasure to work with.’
In this productuction I played the ’Stage Manager’, a storyteller who guides the audience through fragments of time in grover’s corners. This role was performed by 3 actors as an ensemble, each facilitated a different theatrical element alongside story telling. Dramaturgy, Time management, and I was a responsible set.
Alongside storytelling, I drew a live mural detailing the town of Grover’s Corners.
I collaborated with the director and set designer to meticulously craft the mural’s design. We decided on a detailed chalk illustration of the town that had a tone of naivety and playfulness to it. I analysed the town descriptions throughout the text to piece together an accurate geography of Grover’s Corners. To create the aesthetic I took inspiration for the design from old american maps and the illustrations from one of my childhood books. This aesthetic was also used for our marketing material.
We painted the large theatre flats in chalkboard effect paint to create a large canvas that could be cleared and re-drawn for each performance. For the Performance I carefully choreographed each part of the mural to be drawn alongside the text. Furthermore I mirrored the illustrations tone of naive playfulness yet methodical nature within my charter choices, this was a really interesting approach to characterisation.
Throughout the performance I integrated storytelling with art, resulting in a very energetic and dynamic charter with a vibrant stage presence in service to story.
‘ Harrie’s skills as an artist were a key ingredient to the success of the production of “Our Town”. Not only the design was beautiful but it was live in front of the audience, every night different… Her handwork and dedication to the challenge paid off! ‘
The F.O.G. was an devised piece of political theatre. As an ensemble member, my skills as an artist had a large influence on the Aesthetic of the production…
My independent artwork as Harrie Paints was projected into the shows set.
I Designed the Iconography for the two Political Factions in the play. Further, designed and hand painted large illustrave set pieces, while managing a team of set painting assistants.
I collaborated with the design and application of fanciful makeup featured in the show. I also collaborated with the set choreography and configuration of the steel cages. And lastly I collaborated on the design of marketing material for the Production.
Directors note :
‘Harrie’s artwork elevated several of the scenes in ‘The F.O.G.’ (2019) adding beautiful colours, shapes and meaning. Additionally, Harrie continued to make art work throughout the process. Her artistic skills lent themselves to the creation of props, marketing materials, major set pieces and make-up too.
Harrie’s creativity, met with organisation and reliability, meant that all of the deadlines were met while delivering quality design. I recommend her, her well-developed skills as a performer and her fabulous artistic eye without reservation.’
Ok so lets break down the things I can offer to you and your ensemble…
My painting skills are highly developed as an artist. I specialise in highly detailed and vibrant abstract works. I am skilled with a variety of mediums from paints, to inks, graphite, and charcoal.
As a performer I adore mask work, this leads me to develop a variety of methods to produce my own masks. I often sculpt the base mold from clay then cast from this with different mediums such as paper mache and m0drock. I also enjoy crafting masks from natural and upcycled materials.
I am a keen puppeteer, experienced in styles such as Shadow, Object Manipulation and bunraku. Naturally, my crafty skill set has led me to create some rather fun and dynamic puppets. I am developing my skill base in puppet craftsmanship and often discover new things crafting puppets during a devising process.
I enjoy collaborating with set designers, My fine art skills find themselves utilised through the projection of artwork or getting hands-on with set painting. I particularly enjoy collaborating on immersive and site-specific theatre, with the creation of unique and imaginative performance spaces.