Graduates 2018: William Harman: Painting

Inside the amazing twisted TV world of the work of Fine Art Painting student William Harman.

Hi  William – can you tell us a bit about your work?

“My work is inspired by my upbringing having spent countless afternoons and evenings sat with my family watching the endless barrage of game, quiz and chat shows. I really enjoy watching these shows, from the more intellectual programmes – such as ‘Mastermind’ and ‘Countdown’ – to the more outrageous premises of shows like ‘Naked Attraction’ and ‘Dale’s Supermarket Sweep’. I find there is a strange banal novelty in such low cultural forms of entertainment which have gone on to cement themselves into television culture and have a sense of iconography and Britishness.”

“The humour in the presenter’s interactions with the contestants, the facial expressions of thought, the answers and the performing of tasks, to the celebrations and defeats, are all starting points in my paintings. I use such instances with a veil of satirical humour, to form a narrative to explore the archetypal structure of television shows and themes of the socio-political culture of the western world, whilst compositionally borrowing forms and referencing periods from art history.”

Naked Attraction painting

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What’s next for you after Graduation? 

“I’m moving back to London to continue my practice and to have a brief break from education. During this time, myself and a group of friends are aiming to set up some kind of artist run space which we’ll use as studios and potentially a gallery. In the future, I would also like to complete a Masters or enrol on the Turps Banana Studio programme.”

 How did you find studying at Brighton? 

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time studying in Brighton, the vibrancy of the city was echoed through the enthusiasm of the tutors. Fine Art Painting has been a very nurturing course with a strong sense of community and I feel I have really developed my practice over the past three years.”

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