Harry Adams

About the Artist

Harry Adams is the name of the artistic partnership between Steven Lowe and Adam Wood. Although the two artists have collaborated together closely since meeting at art school in 1988, where they studied painting, they only chose the presentational construct of Harry Adams in 2008. Despite their training as painters, their early collaborative projects were loud musical ones, since when they have engaged in many diverse activities including painting, drawing, film, performance, printmaking, photography, digital montage and poster design (especially the Art Hate project, in collaboration with Billy Childish), artists’ books, publishing (poetry, novels, polemics), web projects, running galleries and curating. Their most notable musical project was STOT21stCplanB whose accompanying videos and other related artworks reveal a strong visual sensibility. It is a long, hardworking partnership.

In recent years, the focus of their activity has been the L-13 Light Industrial Workshop. This is a gallery and workshop premises set up by Steven Lowe that provides a vehicle not only for Harry Adams but also for other artists, such as James Cauty, Jamie Reid and, especially, Billy Childish. Many of the L-13 artists are successful musicians, experienced in the shared process of playing music, and L-13’s ethos has been described as that of gallery and artist working together in the way a band might. A more plausible but uncontained definition might describe L-13 and its artists as having co-operatively created an ahistorical severance from usual art world values of success and failure, especially in relation to authorial identity, often through calculated assertions towards, or appropriations of, various kinds of social or cultural authority, all effected through a vast imaginative enterprise and resulting in a potent intensity of meanings.

These assertions and appropriations, being brought to a great temperature in the furnace of the L-13 imagination, have sometimes generated incandescent light and sometimes the fiery conflagrations burn marks of destruction. Many shows, publications, events and performances have been made working in this way, the results of which will undoubtedly confuse future cataloguers and commentators hoping to make forensic sense of them – especially, perhaps, because of their often mysteriously unresolved endings. This interest in the nature of creation and creativity’s relationship with the energies of destruction, and in both, resolute and irresolute endings has been a shared constant at L-13 and is now also seen in the paintings of Harry Adams.

As committed collaborators at art college, Steve Lowe and Adam Wood had wanted to be assessed for their degrees on the basis of a joint show, a performance they had both devised. But they were not allowed to do this and had to give two separate performances, under their own individual names, for separate assessment. Although the performances were effectively the same, one artist was passed, the other was failed. This occasion was an important moment for them, making ideas of success and failure seem redundant, and has since played a defining role in their outlook. It has led to an indifference to – or defiance of – the received ideas that seek to determine whether an artist is doing well or badly – a position that is consistent with their theme of creative non-finality as opposed to a career identity.

Ideas of creation and destruction are central to the paintings with whose themes we are familiar from our experience of the heavens and the utopias, the hells and apocalypses, of mythico-religious art from all times and all places. Within Harry Adams’s paintings, there is belief and disbelief, beauty and ugliness, order and disorder, dirt and cleanliness, ecstasy and dysphoria. He summons and combines these polarities as dualities or paradoxes of discord and unity and then evades tidy meanings, or deliberately misplaces conclusion. Saints are made grubby and grubby things are made beautiful, and ideals of love and beauty and holiness are recombined. He disrupts the perfectionism or absolutism of paintings by other artists while ensuring that his interpretations are also homages to that absolutism or perfectionism. Huge architectural monoliths are depicted whose important survival or cultural functions, as repositories, have their already complex meanings disrupted in further ambiguities of moral scale.

It is, in many ways, a romantic project, which honours the creative spirit of the painter as having, like the poet, a special closeness to an ecstatic knowledge. It is an ecstasy that can be, and is, even amongst all the horror and filth and stupidity.

Cultivated Land and Wild Hills

Cultivated Land and Wild Hills 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 740mm x 460mm
POA

Heavens Above Wheatfield 2016-07-18 at 14.46.40

Heavens Above Wheatfield 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 460mm x 740mm
POA

 

Trees in Wheat Field

Trees in a Wheat Field 2016
Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 740mm x 460mm
POA

Sketch for Sun Dogs Over Power Station and Lifeboat House 2016-07-18 at 14.51.34

Sketch for Sun Dogs over Power Station and Lifeboat House 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Sketch for Wooded Copse on Horizon 2016-07-18 at 14.54.00

Sketch for Wooded Copse on Horizon 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA


Sketch for Power Station and Lifeboat House 2016-07-18 at 14.50.23

Sketch for Power Station and Lifeboat House  2016
Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Sketch for Military Road by the Salt Marsh Reserve I 2016-07-18 at 14.48.10

Sketch for Military Road by the Salt Marsh Reserve I  2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Sketch for Military road by the Salt Marsh reserve II 2016-07-18 at 14.52.55

Sketch for Military Road by the Salt Marsh Reserve II  2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA


Path to the mighty..18:20

Path to the Mighty Oak, 18/20 2016
Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the mighty..12:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 12/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the mighty..14:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 14/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA


Path to the mighty..9:20

Path to the Mighty Oak, 9/20 2016
Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the mighty.. 13:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 13/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the mighty..5:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 5/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA


Path to the mighty oak A:P 1:1

Path to the Mighty Oak A/P 1/1, 2016
Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the mighty 20:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 20/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA

Path to the Mighty Oak 16:20

Path to the Mighty Oak 16/20, 2016
Original Oil and Beeswax Encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 140mm x 225mm
POA


GO 1997

Great Oaks 84/100 1997
Medium is: Original 
Oil, Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 360mm
POA

Carn Llidi from the Retreat 61x50

Carn Llidi from the Retreat  2014
Medium is: Original
Oil and Beeswax encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 610mm x 500mm
SOLD

The Wreckers Hotel

The Wreckers Hotel 
Medium is: Original 
Oil and Beeswax encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 865mm x 610mm
POA

Study for a View from the Retreat 61x91.5

Study for a View from the Retreat
Medium is: Original Oil and Beeswax encaustic on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 610mm x 915mm
POA


F60-1973
Poppy 60/100 1973
Medium is: Origin
al Oil,
Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 36mm
POA

 

Poppy 62:100

Poppy 62/100 1975
Medium is: Original 
Oil, Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 360mm
POA


F46-1959

Poppy 59/100 1972
Medium is: Original 
Oil, Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 360mm
POA

Poppy 82:100

Poppy 82/100 1995
Medium is: Original 
Oil, Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 360mm
POA

Poppy 84:100

Poppy 84/100 1997
Medium is: Original 
Oil, Charcoal and Beeswax on Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 255mm x 360mm
POA


ice breakers 15

Ice Breakers ed 15/31
2015
Medium is: Monoprint and Oil Disperse on Beeswax Encaustic and Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 500mm x 360mm
POA

ice breakers 16

Ice Breakers ed 16/31
2015

Medium is: Monoprint and Oil Disperse on Beeswax Encaustic and Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 500mm x 360mm
POA

man 16
Man Leaving the Ice Field ed 16/31 2015

Medium is: Monoprint and Oil Disperse
on Beeswax Encaustic and Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 500mm x 360mm
POA

man 15

Man Leaving the Ice Field ed 15/31
2015

Medium is: Monoprint and Oil Disperse on Beeswax Encaustic and Cotton Covered Board
Size Unframed: 500mm x 360mm
POA