five senses from my world: sarah hardie, artist

Five senses from London-based artist Sarah Hardie's world. 

Sarah Hardie is the London-based artist whose practice "interrogates the relational possibilities played out and represented by the voice in our moment of broken encounter." A classically trained singer as well as musician, Sarah uses the human voice as a tool to explore universal themes surrounding love and loss, with an interest in psychoanalyst Donald W Winnicott's concept of transitional phenomena - song as a way "out of the other." Her latest work before sleep at the end of love (description of a lullaby) is a visual arts opera that was a site-specific commission by T.P.S and curator Hannah Barry's cultural organisation Bold Tendencies. 

Performed acapella by Sarah in a multistorey car park with collaborators including the choir MUSARC, composer Jack Sheen and award-winning choreographer Eleesha Drennan, the opera incorporated spoken-word, song, and movement to create an immersive sense-experience for each viewer.


My approach and whole reasoning to be an artist changed completely while studying History of Art  at The Courtauld Institute of Art in London.

I began to see the function art can play in society, the real importance of contemporary art to represent and to inspire social change and to capture experience in a way I had not managed to through two-dimensional representation alone prior to this. My art changed at this point and then it seemed all the more vital to me to make work.


I think about the authentic ways we use and play with the voice, the difference in what we say versus what we write - the secrets our speech betrays.

In particular, I am influenced by a number of types of production: contemporary practices in theatre, new writing, poetry, music and visual art, as well as psychoanalytic theory and philosophy. The written or the spoken word have always been really key to my practice as a starting point to make from - but I look beyond words and content to things like light, atmosphere, space, site. 


My opera before sleep at the end of love (description of a lullaby) continues my interrogation of the relational possibilities played out and represented by the human voice in our moment of broken encounters.

It explores through spoken-word, song, and movement (choreographed collaboratively with Eleesha Drennan), the voice as representative of the ‘extimate’ self, the failure of the contemporary lover, friendship as a space of total sonority, and voicing as a loving act or a delusional escape from solitude. I worked with Jack Sheen to collaboratively compose the music, and the opera was performed as the sun went down. The opera was kindly supported by Arts Council England - we are so lucky to have ACE in England!


My twin sister Angela has been a constant source of support for my projects throughout my artistic career.

I think with twins there is always an increased amount of communication that is beyond verbal, as we know and can read each other so well, so it's easier for us to produce together in some ways as we know where we're coming from. She understands the ethos of my work like no other - even if she hasn't studied the theory etc. as she knows me so well.


The art world should be open to artists being curators and vice versa.

I did a joint degree in History of Art and Practice, so I’ve always been interested in producing content as well as curating content. There are modes of thought that are related to both. If you have a creative and inquisitive mind I don’t see the issue with that but the art world does, but I don’t really respect that so I do what I want. 

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