Outset supported the production of two audio works by acclaimed British artist Anne Hardy, created specifically for Field, a major exhibition of new work presented by Modern Art Oxford (7 November 2015 – 10 January 2016). This production grant is part of the Outset / Government Art Collection funding scheme.
For the show, Hardy opened up the galleries into a series of landscapes – immersive environments, which the artist calls ‘Fields’. Within the spaces, the visitor encounters built structures, objects, colour fields of carpet and audio.
Her starting points for work are often found or ‘lost’ objects, for example, a breezeblock that had been adapted to be a weightlifting weight. The ‘lost’ sounds that occur in the processes of making her work are recorded, then used in audio compositions. Offcuts of hardboard from previous works are used here to define a shape for the newly built structure in the Upper Gallery. The Middle Gallery displays a series of photograms. Hardy created these using the dust and debris swept from her studio floor at the end of each working day, making images directly on photographic paper. This continues her interest in using found and lost materials from which to begin a process to construct a work.
The audio works in the exhibition supported by Outset are: Pitch Black, a smooth echo, which forms part of the sculptural installation Pitch Black, a smooth echo / a scoop with a shelter in the Upper Gallery, and An Abandonment was accountable for the accumulation of acid after dark, which forms part of the sculptural installation An Abandonment was accountable for the accumulation of acid after dark / Punctuated Remains, in the Piper Gallery.
The words in Hardy’s audio works perform a similar role to the objects she uses. They too are ‘lost’, leftover and unused titles for works, or ‘memories of atmospheres’, and are collaged together in nonsensical ways. In doing so, she creates ‘new sense’, and plays with the slippage that is inherently possible in a linguistic system, however precise we might consider it to be.
Hardy is also influenced by literary representations of space: “I’m interested when, in a novel, there is a confusion between what happens in the ‘real’ world of the fiction and what happens in the ‘imaginary’ world of the protagonists – how much of what the protagonist perceives is in fact a projection of their own psychological space? It brings to the fore the slippery nature of our perception of the world.”
Hardy’s work, until recently only seen via large-scale photographs of her constructed spaces, encompasses sculptural installations and audio alongside photography. In recent exhibitions at Kunstverein Freiburg (2014), The Common Guild, Glasgow (2015) and now Modern Art Oxford, she has developed an approach that uses the gallery as a working space within which to make her work. Responding to the particular conditions of each gallery, she creates precise spatial constructs for the visitor to encounter.
Anne Hardy lives and works in London, and studied at the Royal College of Art (2000). Solo exhibitions include; TWIN FIELDS, The Common Guild, Glasgow, 2015; rrmmmph, huooghg, op, mmmuuoow, ip , FIG-2, ICA studio, London, 2015; Fieldworks, Kunstverein Freiburg, 2014; Vienna Secession, 2012; Maureen Paley, 2013; New Acquisitions from the Arts Council Collection 2010, Anne Hardy — Recent Work, Project Space, Longside Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2010. In 2012, the artist book Anne Hardy Secession was published to accompany her exhibition at the Vienna Secession. Hardy’s work has been included in group exhibitions both in the UK and internationally, including Mirrorcity at The Hayward Gallery, London, 2014. Hardy took up artist residencies at Camden Arts Centre, London, 2011 and Live in the Studio at Modern Art Oxford, 2014, to develop a live performance work. Anne Hardy is represented by Maureen Paley, London. A new monograph will be published in Autumn 2015 by The Common Guild and Dent-de-Leone, focusing on Hardy’s exhibitions at The Common Guild and Modern Art Oxford.