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Public Statues and Sculpture Association

Jake Harvey (b. 1948)

Brought up in Yetholm, in the Scottish Borders, Harvey studied at Edinburgh College of Art, where he was later appointed Head of Sculpture. His work arises from an engagement with what he describes as ‘earth-related materials’, such as cast iron, limestone, granite and basalt, which are worked into abstract forms of Zen-like stillness and simplicity. References to Scottish pre-history frequently occur in his compositions, as in Cup Stones of 1993, while more contemporary concerns are often evoked by a vocabulary of symbolic pictograms, such as on his most important public commission, the large bronze and steel Hugh MacDiarmid Memorial (1982–84), sited near the poet’s birthplace at Langholm, Dumfries and Galloway. In 2007, he embarked on the Arts and Humanities Research Council-funded ‘STONE Project’, a collaborative investigation into the history, culture and anthropology of stone as an art material that culminated in the publication, STONE: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art, in 2011. Since 1976 he has lived and worked at the former smiddy in Maxton Cross, and is currently Emeritus Professor of Sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art.

Bibliography: Art First, ‘Jake Harvey – biography’; M. Macdonald, Scottish Art, London and New York, 2000, pp. 213–15; R. McKenzie, Public Sculpture of Edinburgh (2 vols), Liverpool, 2018, vol. 1, pp. 301–03.

Ray McKenzie 2018