Jake Harvey studied sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) from 1966 to 1972 and went on to become the Head of School of Sculpture for eleven years.
He is currently Emeritus Professor of Sculpture at ECA and lives and works in the Scottish Borders. He was elected RSA in 1989.
A life-long experience of living and working in Scotland, and the meditative aspect of fishing, inform Harvey's approach to sculpture at a profound level.
In addition, his extensive visits to museums, archaeological and architectural sites around the world to record the traces of man through drawing and photography, are the information gathering process and primary touchstones for his practice.
He is a sculptor of elemental works and chooses to work predominantly with earth-related materials, with stone as his preferred medium.
He carves granite, basalt, marble and limestone, often placing or attaching the simple abstract forms directly on the wall or floor, or sometimes on shaped bases that can be set indoors or outside within a landscape.
In 2003, Jake Harvey was lead artist on the critically acclaimed AN TURAS project on the Isle of Tiree. This 50-metre-long experiential artwork was built as a ferry shelter that echoed the topography and indigenous architecture of the island.
AN TURAS won many accolades, including the RIAS Building of the Year, the RIBA Regional Award, and the RSA Gold Medal. It was shortlisted for the Mies van der Rohe Award and the RIBA Stirling Award.
From 2007 to 2011, Harvey conceived and structured the STONE research project at ECA, with Noe Mendelle and Joel Fisher. Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the project developed into The Milestone Carve during the Edinburgh Festival of 2009, involving 10 international sculptors who carved together throughout the month. The finished works became part of a touring exhibition, starting in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in March 2010.
As Principal Investigator of STONE, Harvey oversaw its core aims; to collect information about stone from multiple perspectives, to discover differences in how stone is understood and worked throughout the world, to understand approaches to thinking inherent to the process, and to articulate these modes of understanding in ways that may be more broadly applicable.
The research resulted in a website and in the major publication, STONE: A Legacy and Inspiration for Art (2011, Black Dog Publishing).