Give Me Space: Harley Weir

``It’s so important that art can continue to be offered to those of all backgrounds and all perspectives. Not just as a commodity but as a process.``
Harley Weir is a London-born photographer and ceramicist known for creating intimate images and films. Weir challenges traditional attitudes towards the female gaze through the intimacy in her images, always carefully composed with a highly attuned sense of colour and composition. 

Since her father’s early-onset Alzheimer’s diagnosis, they started collaborating on a collection of ceramics, working to create a new shared language. Through this very personal project, the goal is to raise awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s research, an illness that affect so many people and their families alike.

During her stay at Numeroventi in Florence, Harley has been exploring the beauty and the beast concept through to ceramic, while thinking back to childhood memories reflecting on her current state. The process involves ideas of the home, fantasy and femininity. Harley will hold a ceramic workshop for kids towards the end of her stay at Numeroventi. The artwork produced during the workshop will be auctioned off and all proceeds will  go back in to providing art therapy for those that need it most. Wombat Art Box 41

Together with art psychotherapist Cressida Brotherstone, they have been working on an art therapy action research project where they have created a safe space to create art for a wide range of neurodiverse people.
They have been documenting informal art therapy sessions for over 3 years now, which has developed organically into a campaign to promote the benefit of art making for mental health, in this case with children and young adults with disabilities and those with dementia. They hope the project will ultimately lead towards more funding and more spaces for people to benefit from such opportunities.
The freedom for children to play and to create art is so important for development. Growing up, I was fortunate to have parents that gave me that freedom. 
“My mother teaches art in schools, charities and even runs art clubs from home.
I am forever proud of her and of Cressida Brotherstone for what they do. For giving children and adults the opportunity to unlock themselves. Especially for children, in this world of control, iPhones, applaud worship and paranoia, to give them a space to make a mess and form an understanding of life in their own way. Sadly, art within the educational curriculum is slowly being pushed out for more academic subjects that ensure a future. 
I would not be here if it wasn’t for art. Forever in the special needs classes, art was the only subject at school I bonded with or ever excelled at. 
It’s so important that art can continue to be offered to those of all backgrounds and all perspectives. Not just as a commodity but as a process.
Getting the chance to work with people from so many different backgrounds, ages and abilities has also been really special. “
“Before working with Cressida there was something in me that I think most people carry, out of ignorance, a misunderstanding and avoidance of the topic of disability. At least an awkwardness. I’ve seen true beauty from those I’ve had the pleasure to work with. We want these images (that I will be sharing soon) to show -without being invasive, the beauty of expression, that we all want to share, in our way. “

The kids workshop (6 to 12 years old) will take place on Monday 3rd of May from 17:00 to 19:00

Please RSVP writing an email to members@numeroventi.it

Images and text courtesy of the artist