Harry Hill: My Hobby, White Stuff, Edinburgh Art Festival
A memorial to Honey the guinea pig, a golden retriever with a sinister message and a preoccupation with Chris Tarrant’s legs all await visitors to Harry Hill’s first ever public exhibition of his paintings and sculptures.
The instantly recognisable big-collared and spectacled comedian and presenter of TV Burp has ventured off the stage to unveil a hobby he’s kept rather quiet about. The result is the sort of experience you might expect if you fell asleep with the TV on – a dream-like parade of celebrities, dinosaurs, twisted landscapes and giant rabbits.
From the golden retriever who ruined a Royal wedding and witnessed a presidential assassination to a selection of painted coconut heads depicting famous Brit-pop figures, the exhibit is full of curiosities.
As a man who describes his day job as ‘watching TV’, Harry Hill is well placed to guide visitors on a tour through pop culture.
The zany images are smile-inducing though they hint at something a little darker and deeper. However, the artist behind the mad-cap collection seems to take to too much pleasure in the ridiculous and outlandish to deliver a scathing rebuke.
Instead Harry Hill’s offering is a celebration of the weird and the wonderful, a light-hearted but pointed tease at Britain’s TV legends. Perhaps because he never intended to show them off in the first place, Harry Hill’s artworks are unabashed, playful and refreshing.
The stage may still be Harry Hill’s true home but this rare opportunity to see the world through his eyes is an intriguing, at times confusing and ultimately amusing experience.
Harry Hill: My Hobby is at White Stuff, Edinburgh until September 2, free admission. www.edinburghartfestival.com
By Mairi Gordon