We had the good fortune of connecting with S. P. Harper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi S. P., what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
Art truly gives me energy and purpose. In choosing a creative career I am able to be around art that I love as well as work at a practice which continually satisfies my passion. Years ago my husband and I purchased a mid-century modern house wherein its restoration became a life-long project. We scoured Craigslist to find appropriate and historically correct pieces to match the architecture. It was this mission that started me on the Eco-centric path by placing an emphasis on recycling, using salvaged materials as the basis for my art. I collect discarded children’s cloths and tie-dye them. The refurbished items are then donated to schools to assist in their fundraiser benefits. All of this forced me to consider: What drives me? What is the reason for my being an artist? Am I getting closer to uncovering any kind of primal truth? My subject matter became the multi-faceted, reflective and enigmatic gemstone. It has become an ever continuing source of artistic inspiration, a puzzle that I’m always trying to solve. In finding my artistic focus the beauty of cut gems and my interest in cooling the planet are brought together.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art is realized through working with images of gemstones on recycled materials, I employ diverse media such as discarded tablecloth, curtain, fracked postage stamp, metal scrap, lath and plaster. By reforming and re-employing, the work fits into eco-centric art, aka neo-materialism, to reduce, reuse and up-cycle. What begins as a bit of refuse is repurposed, transforming base materials into noble objects. Gods of Fire have been chosen to represent gems that bring repurposed flotsam back to life. Eternal flames re-emerge in the facets of jewels which reflect and transfix. I am inspired by grandfather who was a diamantaire (diamond cutter) before becoming a conductor for Pacific Electric Red Cars, an eco–centric company. Because my work is intensely personal, it is often misunderstood. I am most proud of being true to my vision. Through my art the goal is to influence viewers to reduce our collective carbon footprint and make the earth cool again. Greater understanding of my work continues to develop over time. Through perseverance, I am exited about receiving acclaim with collectors and exhibitions.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Entertaining a friend for a week is the perfect excuse to visit my favorite Los Angeles destinations.
Day one: Getty Center in the hills of West Los Angeles.
Day two: Getty Villa along the Pacific Coast Highway along the Malibu shore.
Day three: MOCA Grand Avunue and MOCA Geffen.
Day four: Hauser & Wirth, including DTLA art galleries.
Day five: rest by watching a TV series probably shot in Los Angeles and/or Art in the Twenty-First Century / Art21.
Day 6 and 7: Walk near Windward Ave. on Venice beach and hike Temescal Canyon Park trail off Sunset Blvd. in Pacific Palisades.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
History of Art: A Survey of the major visual arts from the dawn of history to the present day by H. W. Janson. History of Modern Art by H. H. Arnason. My diamantaire (diamond-cutter) grandfather: Archibald Picking
Facebook: Espe Harper
I have rights to photos because I took photos, including self portrait in art studio via tri-pod on timer