The Contemporary Art Society has acquired a large-scale photograph by Anne Hardy for Tate. Anne Hardy is a multidisciplinary artist working with sculpture, photography, sound and room installations. This early work is entitled Cipher and is emblematic of Hardy’s ambitious room-sized installations.
Cipher is meticulously composed, provocatively evoking feelings of nostalgia and claustrophobia with an undertone of eerie whimsicality. The muted brown plastered walls within the photograph are marred and textured, making the space appear weathered and aged. This, combined with the illumination from the artificial light and the feathers scattered across the floor, give the image the presence of a painting rather than a photograph. The heavy lifting equipment and the numbers on the wall allude towards the evidence of human intervention in contrast to the eerie sense of abandonment that is also created.
Hardy is inspired by life; wandering urban landscapes and exploring spaces in the city influence the making process of her installations. By incorporating found objects into her work, Hardy is guided by the materials as well as the physical spaces which she encounters. Created over a period of several months, Cipher was constructed with the frame of a photographic lens in mind. After the photograph was taken the room then ceases to exist in the physical sense, continuing as the image alone. Like many of Hardy’s works that depict an alternate reality, much is left to the imagination and interpretation of the viewer.
This acquisition facilitates Tate in their endeavour to build stronger representation of Hardy within the national collection and enable their audiences to understand the artist’s contemporary practice in full. In 2019, Hardy was commissioned to undertake the 2019 Winter Commission on the exterior of Tate Britain, where The Depth of Darkness, the Return of the Light was installed on the Gallery’s façade.
Anne Hardy (b.1970, United Kingdom) lives and works in London. Recent Solo shows include Tate Britain Winter Commission (2019), Arts Council Collection at Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne (2019) and Maureen Paley, London (2018). Recent group shows include Kate McGarry, London (2020), Rugby Art Gallery, Rugby (2020) and Royal Academy of Arts, London (2020).