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Solitary Birthday Wishes


Harry’s new installation for the Barbican reviews the artist’s personal history but keenly links to the here and now. With a font as its centrepiece, Harry reconnects with his family history and pays respect to the religious ritual of Baptism. Viewed as a deconstructed bathroom setting, Harry asks the audience to consider the act of ablution and what it means to them. Washing our hands, both as a way of sanitising our skin and cleansing negative energy; he urges us to reflect on the way that this simple act can become a powerful source of compulsive ritual, and how this has potentially reached the masses through the course of the pandemic. Using scent to trigger olfactory memory, Harry has worked with pleasant aromas and malodorous substances which he believes can connect people to their own personal experience.


wood, cementboard, ceramic tiles, metal sink, sink plug, soap, cigarettes, Valerian Root capsules, artificial black rose, ink, scented oils, Genelec speakers, media player, LED light planels, 2x LED lights, LED strip light, hand towel, 2 x white cotton sheets