Harriet Burns

TW: profanity

I call myself a creative practitioner.

Because I’m no established artist and probably the world’s worst graphic designer, and it sounds better than saying ‘professional shit-chatter’. Doesn’t damn me to any discipline or formality.

I am still studying. I’m doing a Masters in Graphic Design at Leeds Art University.

This was my attempt at making my creative skill set and non-existent portfolio seem more commercial and transferable within the elusive ‘creative industry’ I’m hellbent on making my career within. Also, I feel safe being creative within the academic framework where no one is expecting me to be making money from it.

I am on a longer term path of enlightenment that seeks to create an empirical meta-analysis around ‘Sentimentality’ from a deontological standpoint, motivated specifically by an interest in the postulation of a Liverpool-branded strain of sentimentality as an axiom. My understanding of a scouse sentimentalism comes from its recalcitrance as a political proletariat within Britain *scouse not english*, the tribalism and the perceived victimisation as characteristic of a city that is determined to valorise itself. I do not believe sentimentality to be a disposition of psychological impoverishment, nor do I believe that all creative fabrications of a sentimental nature need be aesthetically culpable.

I fully intend to merge the existing lines of inquiry into the work undertaken for the IB21 festival, especially in the exploration of the local artists’ work, their contexts, and the stock imagery that gets bastardised within the visual outcomes.

Should hope so as well cos I’ve done shit loads of reading and cannot possibly invest the same amount of commitment to the cause for another subject/theme.

‘Dear Diary’ is a live journal of all the work related to the IB21 programme.

Yes, this is what I was going on about in my cover letter when I applied for this role promising ‘reflection through dynamic and unconventional methods of documentation’ so I need to come good on that.

It is a hermeneutic approach to digesting and responding to stimuli, relying on this rigorously personal interpretation to resist being distorted through claims of subjectivity.

It should start to close the disparity between certain esoteric institutional language and audience engagement through the imbrication of a demotic narrative and obviation of internal artistic conversation. Littered amongst the written apperception, there is the intention to include visual elements. Using meme templates for explication, absurdist and maximalist collages of all manners of interpolated imagery, should help move the arcane to the emphatic through sardonic, ironic satire.

Purposeful equivocation to help me detract from the undefinable practice and loose timeline structure and objectives.

The stimulus will include the work of the other IB21 artists, the other artist hosts, me mates, my cat, the pandemic, my course, the events of the festival, and a broad brief that was offered as part of this role that includes the themes of: artist, spaces, industry.

Laughin, they’re so broad I can basically write a load of shit and find some miniscule link to them to make sure I’m ticking the boxes!

The broad themes will help me construct a light reading list to better increase my literacy around these topics, but research will take the form of collaboration, life writing (as they’re calling it these days) and visual content creation. There should be PDFs, images and videos that exist separately to the Dear Diary documentation that I will upload to this space and engage in some shameless self-promotion by the sharing of work through my Instagram platforms:

@harrietburns ‘personal’ instagram where you’ll get a flavour for what I’m about in the most curated way possible

@it_is_wa_it_was solely art/design work and outcomes. No cats or selfies.


‘[Harriet’s work] isn’t offering balance or soft edges, its attempting to construct a different sort of relationship or rather there’s a sacrificing of control to invite us to meet her half way, grapple and get our hands dirty, this investment is not for any gimmick, financial or brand gain, or interesting hashtag but more to offer up this overlap as sublime slippage…[it] is shrouded in this Sentimental wash, basking in the glory of mass access to graphic communication tools, image production, video content, it’s a co-opting and celebrating of such kitchen sink, DIY graphics, domestic, familial, where notions of inadequacy translate into a cheapening, tacky, unlearning of contemporary aesthetic sensibilities. Everything here feels borrowed, loaned or on finance to one day be returned, images conned, fleeced, stolen from a dizzying, searching engine.’ – My course tutor who has done a wildly brilliant job of making my cack-handed work seem more interesting than it is

Harriet Burns, rolling updates:

In Conversation With GRACE and GEORGE, Harriet Burns

See more of Harriet Burns work here Download: In Conversation With GRACE and GEORGEDownload

woke up in the ‘am’, composed a beat – Harriet Burns

See more of Harriet Burns work here Comment & edit the document below here


View more of Harriet Burns' work here COVID AWARENESS from Harriet on Vimeo.

‘Where are artists?’ – At ome’

Comment & edit here View & read more of Harriet Burns' work here

Artsy people are weird, Harriet Burns

by Harriet Burns Follow her live work here

Artist Hosts:

Jo Mary Watson, Harriet Burns, Matt Retallick and Elizabeth Challinor are documenting the festival, using their own practices to present the themes and methods of the programme. Follow their collective work HERE


  • Follow Harriet Burns’ live work on Google Drive HERE
  • Follow weekly updates in the blog posts below

Harriet Burns


Harriet Burns, rolling updates: