Mia-Jane Harris’ work delves into the curious, fascinatingly odd and morbidly beautiful. She aims to intrigue the viewer and pull them in to her world with strange objects and morbid curios to manipulate their emotions on the subject of mortality - life, death & resurrection. Harris wishes to challenge the inevitability of our disappearance after death by preventing decay and rescuing ‘junk’. She gives a second life, an artistic resurrection, to deceased animals and second hand objects in the hope that in return this second chance she gives them will help her live on through these creations when she is gone.
Harris’ creations are about helping to overcome the fear of nothingness by accepting death as a thing of beauty and using preservation and upcycling to show that if you can stop decay and disappearance then you can have some sort of control over your own demise. The idea of mortality means a lot to Harris and has always fascinated her due to her death during birth, and her fear of when it will take her next. There were complications during Mia-Jane’s birth which resulted in her being born deceased and after resuscitation left with Erbs Palsy, the partial paralysis and stunted growth of her right arm, so she has always had a fascination with the morbid and abnormal.
The animals used in Harris’ work are found naturally deceased or are accidental roadkill. She gathers her materials from charity shops, house-clearance stores, dumps, skips and antiques markets. Mia-Jane then takes these castoff materials and uses deconstruction, reconstruction, re-painting and assemblage combined with taxidermy/mummification to turn discarded objects in to curious new art objects for people to admire. The main items Harris saves and resurrects are porcelain figures and dolls, these people-like objects help tell autobiographic tales through the work.