Words by Gabriel Rees
Describing her aesthetic as a blend of documentary and fantasy, Harley Weir uses her multi-disciplinary practice to explore questions of identity, femininity, masculinity and sexuality. Seamlessly moving between personal and commercial projects, she imbues each with an ethereal sense of emotion, ambiguity, intuition and beauty. As a self-taught photographer, Weir’s style is entirely her own, though she regularly draws on her background in fine art to inform her works creatively. Repurposing art historic iconography and established visual meanings, Weir makes judicious use of prefigured artistic touchstones as a means by which to subtly instil her imagery with deeper pictorial meaning.
That is not to say her work is overly intellectualised however, there is a refreshingly raw simplicity in the profound beauty of her photography, one which runs contrary to the self-conscious rejection of pure aesthetic pleasure so pervasive in contemporary image culture. Indeed, beauty is central to Weir’s work, both aesthetically and intellectually. Presented with a remarkably human sense of innocence and wonder, her imagery both celebrates and examines its subjective nature, exploring beauty’s seemingly illogical ability to intangibly move human emotion.
‘Her photography exhibits a striking sense of harmony between lens and subject, holding in it a synthesis of vision, moment and meaning that comes together as mysterious, unguarded and pure’
Fashion photography provides an opportunity for Weir to combine her keen sense of curiosity with the unique understanding of aesthetic and visual language, creating images which are just as at home on the gallery wall as the pages of a magazine. Despite her deeply personal style, as an artist Weir displays an impressive knack for collaboration. Her photography exhibits a striking sense of harmony between lens and subject, holding in it a synthesis of vision, moment and meaning that comes together as mysterious, unguarded and pure; offering the viewer a delicate sense of intimacy, as though the image, or rather Weir, is speaking to them and them alone.
Harley Weir is represented by Art Partner.