After completing an art foundation course, Polly Jean Harvey was awarded a place to study sculpture at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. At the very same time she was offered a record deal.
She decided in favour of music and her band – PJ Harvey – released a remarkable debut album, Dry, in 1992. It was acclaimed worldwide and in the US, Rolling Stone named Harvey “Best Songwriter” and “Best New Female Singer”. The only artist to have twice won the Mercury Music Prize, for Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea in 2001 and Let England Shake in 2011, after eight studio album releases, Harvey was awarded an MBE for services to music in 2013.
Long admired for her powerful lyrics, from the personal to the political, more recently Harvey has become known for her poetry, delivering her first public reading at the British Library in 2013. Though she never took up her place at Saint Martins, she continues to paint, draw and sculpt. Recording in Progress, conceived in collaboration with Artangel and Somerset House, marks a moment where these occupations collide and the process of album making becomes a public art installation.