Alexandra Harley is a British sculptor best known for her immersive engagement with materials.
Harley studied sculpture at Wimbledon School of Art under Glyn Williams and Robin Greenwood, followed by the Advanced Course at St. Martins School of Art under Tim Scott. Her own teaching career is extensive, commencing with woodcarving in the Sculpture Department at City Lit in 1985 and over the years expanding into bronze, stone and life modelling.
Harley is the Ashurst Emerging Artist Sculpture Prize winner for 2021. She has been awarded prestigious fellowships in Japan and the USA, won the the Brian Mercer Fellowship in 2016, spending 3 months in the Mariani Bronze Foundry in Italy. Juried exhibitions for which she has been selected include the ING Discerning Eye, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, Royal Society of Sculptors Summer Exhibition, Creekside Open, Cork Street Open and the London Group Open. She has also had public sculptures commissioned in the Caribbean, Europe and the USA.
Harley currently splits her time between her studios in Stratford, London and Framlingham, Suffolk.
Recent & Upcoming Projects
I am delighted and honoured to have been given the sculpture award by the Ashurst Prize with my sculpture Adaxka, above.
An Excerpt from a review of my Solo exhibition by Sofia Carreira- Wham..
The headquarters of Ashurst LLP in London’s Spitalfields have been transformed, suddenly inhabited by a vast and vibrant array of sculptures that are immediately recognisable as the work of Alexandra Harley. Harley is the 2021 winner of the Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize for Sculpture and this is her largest solo exhibition to date, featuring eleven artworks spanning a creative period of the last six years.
The exhibition has a personal, intimate feel that is reinforced when I learn that it has been curated by the artist herself, both in terms of the selection of artworks and their display. The pieces are installed alongside one another in a linear fashion, enabling the viewer to take in one, some or all of them in a single gaze as well as from disparate vantage points. This unusual layout facilitates a physical and contemplative journey through years and layers of Harley’s artistic practice, encouraging a non-static experience of sculptures that are themselves characterised by movement.
This Stuff Matters has been selected for an exhibition at showing at the APT Gallery, Deptford, London SE8 4SA. This will take place in March 2023. There will be a chaired discussion with Meghan Goodeve, 'Women in Abstraction'
The online show made during Lockdown and curated by Jill Gibson can be found at:
I exhibited Birika in 'Coming up for Air', a London Group exhibition at Waterloo in 2021, that can now be viewed as a fly-though, please see the video below. The close up shot of Birika is at 00:03:02
There is an additional shorter video of 5 minutes, which you can find here:
This Stuff Matters is a collective of four established women sculptors: Alexandra Harley, Gillian Brent, Sheila Vollmer and Jill Gibson. They first met as a group in 2019, participating in an experimental mixed group show Testing 123..... at Unit 3 in London, curated by John Bunker. They have an exciting program of events at the next exhibition in the APT Gallery in Deptford South London in March 2023. Please visit This Stuff Matters for further information.
Installation views: Opening Matters, a group exhibition by This Stuff Matters (January 2019). Photography by Peter Griffiths.
The London Group was set up in 1913 by thirty two artists including Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Wyndham Lewis, David Bomberg, and Henri Gaudier Brzeska. Today, it is a thriving democratic artists’ collective, practicing in all disciplines, with an exciting international programme of events and exhibitions.
Since her election in 2018, Harley has been an active member of the society and participated in various London exhibitions.
The Brancaster Chronicles are a series of recorded discussions made on the occasion of exhibitions of abstract painting and sculpture. Harley was a founding member of the project in 2013.
Each Chronicle is organised, transcribed and filmed by the relevant participating artists, and shown with photographs of the work to recreate the environment in which it was initially discussed.
The Royal Society of Sculptors was founded over 100 years ago in 1905 to champion contemporary sculpture. It remains an artist-led organisation that supports and connects sculptors throughout their careers.
Alexandra Harley has been an active member since her election in 2000. She served a term on the Board of Trustees 2017-2020 and has been selected for several member-only exhibitions.
Free Painters and Sculptors was established in 1952 and played a significant role in the establishment of London's abstract art scene in the 1950’s and 60’s, originally in association with the Institute of Contemporary Arts. This revolutionary ethos continues today among its diverse artistic membership.
Harley is a regular participant in FPS' biannual exhibitions at renowned central London galleries.