Living in London, Katharine Le Hardy has for eighteen years used her hometown as her inspiration, documenting key features including the River Thames and more recently the regeneration of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. This stadium was an important historical landmark for the local community. The process of documenting its demolition, witnessing this process of urban regeneration, allowed Katharine to become immersed in the local significance of the place. Becoming aware of what this space had meant to the local community, she started to consider its cultural heritage. The work is not mournful, there is a beauty in the standing ladders and exposed rafters, a curious balance between the whimsical and the absolute.
During the early months of 2020, with access to the physical world restricted by a national lockdown, Katharine found herself absorbed by historical images of past times. Partially induced by memory and nostalgia she started painting ferris wheels and hula hooping children. This has triggered a new enquiry, an investigation of the space between the real, the past, the lost and the hopeful. Currently documenting deserted funfairs, and researching the history of play, Katharine observes the forlornness of a deserted place of play and how this conflicts with our presupposed associations of jubilance, how our memories entwine with our fantasies. This observation of historical significance encountering something more intangible is central to Katharine’s new journey.
Katharine is developing a new body of work for a solo show in Autumn 2021.
Katharine studied Fine Art BA Hons at the University of the West of England, Bristol (2000-2003) and her awards include winner Society of Women Artists, 2019, Gilchrist Fisher Award (2007) and Royal Bath and West Scholarship (2007).