HAMPSHIRE, UK.- ArtSway is pleased to present an exhibition of recent photographs by Anne Hardy, including new images produced during her residency at the gallery in Autumn 2004. Entering the studio of artist and photographer Anne Hardy is a transformative experience, akin to Alice stepping through the looking glass; a trip to a parallel world. Her studio becomes in turn a stage-set, a self-contained universe, a vehicle for ideas that she assembles and constructs with painstaking detail using everyday materials and found objects. Hardy begins the construction of her disconcerting stage-like sets from the viewpoint of her camera lens, a viewpoint that remains fixed throughout construction until the photograph is finished. The resulting images are exhibited as large scale (120cm x 150cm) colour photographs, under the title Interior Landscapes. This title evokes a sense of ‘hidden spaces’; spaces situated in urban environments; spaces that are neglected and forgotten or existing separate from everyday life.
Hardy’s photograph Lumber (2003 - 4) depicts what appears to be an unassuming, hastily constructed room - all unpainted plasterboard and bulging foam sealant - which has become a last resting place for abandoned Christmas trees; these once precious festive objects have been abandoned and left to decay. The author Rachel Taylor writes that images such as Lumber ‘function as surreal mementos mori’, and that they become ‘spaces of the imagination that follow their own inexorable logic.’
Hardy’s photographs are indicative of how modern man has constantly sought to control and manipulate space, and how spaces and objects become overlooked and taken for granted. Hardy’s imagery, however fantastical, is ultimately believable. One only has to refer back to the bulging foam sealant and unpainted plasterboard in Lumber to find a very real and tangible, tactile even, reminder of this ‘underbelly of the everyday’.
Anne Hardy lives and works in London. A portfolio of her work is featured in the autumn 2004/spring 2005 edition of Photoworks Magazine. In 2004 she was the first artist selected for the Laing Solo exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle and her work was included in major group exhibitions in the UK(The House in the Middle, Towner Art Gallery, 2004) and abroad (Really True!Photography and the promise of reality, Ruhrlandsmuseum, Essen, 2004).