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Detail of 'Too Many Tickles, Not Enough Feathers' by Scott Harber.

Exhibition: Scott Harber’s Dodgy Dives into Bright Crevices at EBA—until 06.23.19

By Mathew Adams on June 18, 2019

The Enriched Bread Artists have a new show running until Sunday June 23, 2019. Dodgy Dives into Bright Crevices by Toronto-based artist Scott Harber is his first exhibition in his hometown of Ottawa.

‘Too Many Tickles, Not Enough Feathers’ by Scott Harber.

“The show as a whole [is] a surreal world of beings, objects and environments where reason and meaning takes a backseat to child-like imagination. There are constructed with a personal lexicon of visuals and other materials from the past,” Harber says of his exhibition.

The show’s name, like the construction of his artwork, is created spontaneously, having “Dodgy Dives” represent jumping into something unreliably and “into Bright Crevices” meaning an unknown place where there could be a positive outcome. The title is more poetic than it is attached to any specific theme and is intended to celebrate exploring the unknown and unpredictability.

Scott Harber, Finger-Painting with Floral Gang-signs, 2018, mixed media on wood panel, detail. Provided by the artist.

“Reason and meaning takes a backseat to child-like imagination.”

Featuring a collection of two-dimensional collages comprised of childhood drawings, references and found images, Harber creates a language useful to exploring a nostalgia-filled world of graphic images. These are accompanied by three-dimensional assemblages, some comprised of toys, taken apart and reassembled using clay into a sculptural collage and some using a printing technique to transfer childhood drawings onto clay to form a sort of artifact like a modern cave painting.

“I feel like we are living in a world where everything is fractured; access to information is in bits and pieces. This process of putting things together is what my art aims to come to terms with, so I feel like collage is fitting to reflect what the world is going through right now,” says Harber about his use of collage as a medium.

Scott Harber, Anti-Silhouettes, 2018, mixed media on wood panel, detail. Provided by the artist.

“I feel like collage is fitting to reflect what the world is going through right now.”

Using his background as a graffiti writer, Harber enjoys working within tight time constraints in order to limit what is possible. While spray painting, he would have only a few hours to complete the works and developed an intuitive approach to art-making. He has also taken inspiration from Japanese children’s book artist Koji Suzuki, meeting him while briefly living in Japan. Suzuki had a gestural, fantastical, brightly coloured style that planted a seed in Harber’s imagination.

“This work amalgamates a lot of different phases of my art practice, where I was initially into graffiti art, then I got into graphic illustration and then more into childlike drawings, then more conceptual stuff in art school.” Harber says about the evolution of his art, leading to the creation of this exhibition.

Come in and experience this exhibition before it is gone. It is a fascinating, striking and engaging world of visual language that really needs to be seen in person. Artwork like this is full of details that need to be explored much like it was made—intuitively.

If you have never been to the Enriched Bread Artists, they are located at 951 Gladstone St in Little Italy, so make a day of it and check out the local restaurants, the comedy shows and the outdoor art on nearby Preston Street. For those busing, OC Transpo route 14 takes you right in front of the EBA building, which makes it so easy to commute there! Follow Scott Harber on Instagram and check out the Enriched Bread Artist’s website for more information.