My artistic journey was spurred by my travels to China, where I had the unique opportunity to work alongside skilled flower makers who taught me the craft of making porcelain flowers. This immersive experience served as the catalyst for my current body of work, which has since been reinterpreted through my Western perspective and deep-rooted fascination with the decorative arts.
Traditionally, ceramic flowers have adorned functional objects in the decorative arts, such as those created in European factories like Meissen or Sevres. Building upon this rich tradition, I embrace the role of a modern-day creator, choosing to explore darker undertones that seduce the viewer with sinister beauty. By working primarily with black clay, I evoke associations with Victorian sentiments surrounding morbidity and material excess, while also delving into fundamental human notions of life and death.
There is also a subtle nod to collections such as Wunderkammers or Cabinets of Curiosities, as well as the iconic Blaschka Flowers and other sources that have influenced my work. These diverse influences converge to create a distinct hybridity, infusing my sculptures with layered meaning and inviting viewers to bring their own associations and interpretations into the works.
Rain Harris is a sculptor and installation artist who who lives in Kansas City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Rhode Island School of Design and her MFA from The Ohio University. She has participated in residencies at the Clay Studio, Philadelphia Pa, Watershed Center for the Ceramic Arts, Newcastle, ME, The Pottery Workshop, Jingdezhen, China, The International Ceramic Research Center, Guldageraard, Denmark, and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been exhibited in numerous group exhibitions including ones at the US Chamber of Commerce, The Ferrin Gallery, and the Garth Clark Gallery. She had a 3-person show at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio and she has had solo shows at the Philadelphia International Airport, The Portland Craft Museum, The Duane Reed Gallery, and Sherry Leedy Contemporary. Rain has presented many lectures at colleges, museums and conferences. She has received many grants and fellowships including an American Craft Council Emerging Artist Grant, an Independence Foundation Fellowship, three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Special Opportunity Stipends, a Leeway Foundation Achievement Grant and two Window of Opportunity Grants. Her work is in private collections and over a dozen national and international museums.