Kiera is a Cheltenham born fine artist and illustrator. With an aesthetic influenced by the German Expressionists, her art aims to be provocative, incorporating sensitive topics with humour and graphic imagery.
Kiera Harmer is an artist who exhibits social commentary through the lens of cruelty. Influenced by Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty and Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty, her work is a blend of taboo topics, childlike curiosity, and satire.
“I preserved an undying curiosity of all the things I believed I was not allowed to look at.”
Avid for challenging content, Kiera spotlights subjects that for many remain in the dark or behind closed doors. Her process is akin to performance art. Using immersion techniques, she submerges herself in a provocative concept. Contextualised by extensive research, she then unleashes the artefacts into the public realm. This launches the spectator into a world were art and ethics fuse together. Kiera experiments in the different ways we can interact with art, as part of her artwork is the response. Through the mediums of painting, illustration, and sculpture, her work is a means of self and social critique.
Kiera Harmer (b. 1999 in Cheltenham, UK) lives and works in Cheltenham. She received her Art Foundation Distinction diploma from Stroud College in 2019. Kiera curated her first group show ‘Farewell’ at Lynfield House, Cheltenham. She has participated in group shows for Cheltenham Open Studios.
"Ever since my artistic journey began, I craved challenging content. I preserved an undying curiosity of all the things I believed I was not allowed to look at. Discovering Artaud’s Theatre of Cruelty and Maggie Nelson’s The Art of Cruelty changed the way I looked at art. I wanted to shine my light on subjects that for many remain in the dark or behind closed doors.
My process begins by spotlighting and studying a 'cruelty' within myself. I expose it to play on controversial subjects, contextualised by extensive research. Once the 'cruelty' is on display, the work is open for public intervention. Part of the artwork itself is the spectators’ internal and external response. The confrontation commences a welter of serious commentary through the discipline of art. Humour and satire is another key component to enable public intervention with my art. Yet, when tackling provocative topics, I do not dismiss the surrounding politics. I encourage the discussion of ethics of work on show. I aspire to make my artwork somewhat pedagogical and communicative in this sense.
I apply intense focus on the clarity and design of my paintings. Exploring illustration indulges my perfectionism and appreciation of the painted line. My love for German Expressionism beckons a brazen use of colour, angle, and figure. I find this refined graphic style enters the public realm in a way that is accessible for everyone. A pervasive theme in my work is eroticism. I enjoy exploring the complexity of fetish, taboos, and desire. My art targets the internal shame certain spectators have built for themselves. When I ignite the aspect of cruelty, I can engage and provoke on different levels. As an artist, I don’t know who’s eye my art will hit, but I can experiment with how spectators can interact with my art."