Interview: Phillip Chapman of Art Works Sheffield talks to artist Greg Harris
Over the last few weeks we at Art Works Sheffield have been inspired by Art Pieces by Mr. Greg Harris. Today, 25th January 2016, Mr Greg Harris has visited us and we are honoured to spend sometime with him as we interview him on his work and inspiration.
What inspired you to create the model?
I have done model making for a very long time, I went to special schools Park Hill and Mossbrook and that’s where we did a class for model making and the teacher that taught us was very good and I got an interest in 3D Models as a kid.
The first thing I built was a tank and from that I kept on building new things. Building a bike was a big challenge, the complexity of the wheels and the frame. It took a lot of patience but it was a good challenge.
The police box was inspired by Doctor Who. As a kid…the imagination of going into a police box and travelling through time and going to different planets, that’s something that I always wanted to do.
What’s the work you are most proud of and why?
The Sheffield ones because everyone has memories of places they have been to. I loved going to Red Gates because it was the best toy shop in Sheffield. Watching people’s reactions to looking at the work and them talking about their memories of when they were young and the places they went to.
Another one is the Park Hill flats; the landscape. It makes me proud of being in Sheffield.
The Henderson Relish as well. I asked them if I can do some Artwork and they were absolutely fine with it.
Will you consider doing another series like this in 20 years or does this series reflect on your youth?
It mainly reflects on my youth as a kid, I enjoyed doing a series of pictures and maybe there is time to do another series of Sheffield because it’s forever changing.
If am still around I will be doing pictures of Sheffield, there will always be new avenues.
How did you learn to draw so well?
When I was in school I struggled; I couldn’t read, I could not even hold a pencil properly, it took me a while. Soon as I could hold a pencil I started drawing objects, I drew machinery which I was fascinated by. My granddad gave me a book from a photographer called Charlie Bellamy. It had pictures of animals in it and I always wanted to practice drawing animals. I looked at books and also just went out and drew objects like the Raleigh Chopper bike because my neighbours had one, but I didn’t have one. My mum thought that they were dangerous. I use different pencils: sometimes soft pencils and sometimes hard pencils.
If you could be an animal what would you be and why?
I would be a bird even though I am not very good with heights, so that I could fly over landscapes and cities, I would love to be a parrot. I love parrots because of their colour.
What’s next for you?
There’s still mileage in Sheffield; still a lot of places that I want to do in Sheffield. I also want to do other cities like: Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and Leeds. I have some pictures for Liverpool already because people in Liverpool are also passionate about their city. There are some nice buildings there. I’m gonna do one or two more pictures of Sheffield from the 70’s.
Art Works Gallery CIC (or Art Works) is a social enterprise in Malin Bridge, Sheffield that supports adults with learning disabilities and autism to access creative professional artist-led workshops and work opportunities within the creative industries through partnerships with arts organisations. We focus on building crucial life skills out and about in the community whilst working towards employment in the creative industries. We support our service users to create art and moving image for gallery screenings, city centre exhibitions, and film festival participation. Phillip Chapman was supported in conducting this interview by Charlie Otieno.