Dominic Harris Opens New Halcyon Gallery

Words by
Sphere Editors

30th May 2023

Leading digital artist Dominic Harris is the perfect choice for the inaugural exhibition at Halcyon Gallery’s new flagship gallery at 148 New Bond Street which opened on 25th May.

Presented by Halcyon Gallery

Feeding Consciousness is Harris’ most ambitious exhibition to date, harnessing the magical, the fantastical and the sublime. Visitors to the exhibition will be invited to explore his intricately created worlds, from the natural environment to the Gods of Olympus, the financial markets and online news to the polar ice caps, all brought to life in Harris’ unique, immersive and interactive worlds.

Born in London in 1976, Dominic Harris is expert at using technology to interpret and reveal the world around us. Drawing inspiration from art history, classical texts, pop art, Victorian inventions, nature and everyday icons, Harris has caught the eye of collectors including Google’s Eric Schmidt and billionaire philanthropist Leonard Lauder, and his distinctive artworks have graced such diverse locations as Heathrow Airport, Tower Bridge and shortly, the new cruise ship from Norwegian Cruise Line.

Dominic Harris with his art work Elements

Photography by Nicholas Dawkes

Dominic Harris with his work, Elements, which focuses on the artists' beloved butterflies

Dominic studied at Cranbrook Kingswood School in Michigan and returned to England to read Architecture at the Bartlett School, University College, London. He graduated with top distinctions, qualifying as an architect in 2003, going on to work for the avant-garde architectural practice Future Systems. Since 2007 Dominic has operated from his own artistic studio in Notting Hill, London, where he and his team design, engineer, code and fabricate his artworks and installations.

From the very start of his career, Harris was fascinated with going beyond what was expected of him. He recalls: ‘I was interested in the abstract and the conceptual. I started creating my own software and my own electronics to be able to prototype what I thought architecture should be, a built environment which is to be more responsive to the individual, such as buildings which responded to people’s breathing.’

Feeding Consciousness
Feeding Consciousness, a 10-foot sculpture of 180 screens

He adds: ‘I wanted to work in art and emotion, and for things to be interactive and responsive, and to work in a way that really made a lasting impression on people, that communicated something bigger than I thought a static object might be able to.’

Harris initially sketches his visions on an iPad, combining hand-drawn lines, photomontage and other digital tools to virtually sculpt and test ideas before engaging more sophisticated software with his team. Each work can take a year or more to create, with inspiration coming from all around him, from museums and galleries to the news, the natural world and mythology.

Feeding Consciousness
Feeding Consciousness by Dominic Harris

Harris’s connection with Halcyon Gallery goes back several years, launching his first exhibition with the gallery in 2019. The exhibition, titled Imagine, featured an immersive and retrospective display of Harris' work in the largest single exhibition of his pieces to date and included iconic works such as the butterflies of Flutter Wall, one of his earlier works which first propelled Harris into prominence in the art world.

The 88 butterflies react to movement around them, taking off in flight in a swarming kaleidoscope before gradually coming back to land, and Harris later continued the butterfly theme to create his show-stopping flags in his World Stage series.

Limitless by Dominic Harris

Limitless by Dominic Harris

Limitless, a growing tower made of blocks stamped with the logo of FTSE share index companies

In Feeding Consciousness, Harris takes his technical wizardry to the next stage, using technology to produce movement and interaction in wonderful settings, from the underwater world of Atlantis to the frozen Antarctic tundra so that visitors can ‘play God’ by interacting with and disrupting the environment, from making the sun rise and set, to creating lightning strikes to light up the night sky.

Endurance Colony by Dominic Harris

Endurance Colony by Dominic Harris

Endurance Colony, a 360 immersion into a hyperreal Antarctic terrain

Harris’ landmark innovation, and namesake for the exhibition, is a 10-foot digital sculpture inspired by the Biblical story of the Tower of Babel. Harnessing Artificial Intelligence and datasets, the artwork acts as a feed of the country’s collective consciousness, presenting the top five trending subjects on Google’s UK search engine. The topics dominating the communal psyche are splashed across the tower’s 180 LCD screens and accompanying split-flap Solari display.

Endurance Colony by Dominic Harris
Endurance Colony by Dominic Harris

Says Harris: ‘My take on this is instead of looking at languages, I’m looking at the volume of what people are talking about right now. So what we’re seeing is in real life the top five trending topics of what people are looking at, straight from Google. This tower can never be completed but you can’t look away in case you miss something, and it yields some amazing moments.’

By breaking down the traditional boundaries between the viewer and the artwork, Harris's pieces become more than just passive objects of admiration – they become living, breathing entities that inspire and delight.

Says Harris: ‘I believe in doing things that I enjoy, and that is a guiding force for me. Nothing is more important than being true to your passion, otherwise you’re compromising on what you want to be doing, and what’s the point of doing something for yourself if you’re compromising on it?’

Feeding Consciousness opens at the Halcyon Gallery, 148 New Bond Street, on May 25th 2023.