Andy Harding lives and works in Nashville, TN. Curiosity about matter led Harding to study chemistry and physics in college, but he soon began searching for ways to explore these disciplines through art and the alchemy of object-making. He was an artist-in-residence at the historic Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville from 2000-2005. In 2016, Harding was invited by Western Kentucky University to join a group of 12 artists, curators, and gallery directors from around the U.S. to study contemporary art in China. Harding’s work has been exhibited nationally and can be found in numerous private and corporate collections throughout the United States.
“They’re messengers from the deep past heralded as portents, and inert pieces of matter that carry the building blocks of life. They’re the source of both scientific and spiritual wonder, and in this respect, meteorites have a lot in common with the humans who study them.” -Werner Herzog
Arrokoth, the Powhatan word for sky, is the name given to the most distant and primitive object ever explored by a spacecraft. For thousands of years, human beings have trained their gaze toward the heavens: for purposes of navigation, scientific discovery, or as vessels for stories and myths. This body of work embodies that tradition--inspired by my own fascination with the cosmos and the origins of matter. Though celestial objects are alien to us, they contain the same elements that make up our own planet and all the rocks, trees, and living things therein.
This unity between order and entropy, native and foreign, distant and present elucidates the reality that the world we inhabit and recognize now is just one moment in a grand saga of material transformation. Probing this factual, yet magical, reality anchors much of my creative practice.
Arrokoth is a meditation on the vastness of the cosmos and the myriad contradictions within while highlighting the essentially alien nature of our own familiar world. It consists of a series of floor and wall-mounted sculptures, video and photographs. The sculptures are composed of wood that I found or sustainably harvested myself. Fallen trees become vessels for imagined narratives: artifacts of some vaguely lovecraftian realm or matter from other worlds. The asteroid-like pieces of carved wood bring the heavens to earth--juxtaposing a commonplace organic material with a form that evokes the mysterious, unknown objects hurtling through the universe, echoing the notion that every material we encounter contains atoms forged in the furnace of dying stars. Video and photographs are incorporated to further a narrative of discovery as propagated by the various space agencies...providing documentation of these objects in what I imagine to be their native cosmic domain. Together, this collection of objects and images takes on a mythology of its own that reckons with the amalgamation of wonder, hope, and fear that rise within while investigating the starkly beautiful unknown abyss of space.