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. 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 triggered a new enquiry, an investigation of the space between the real, the past, the lost and the hopeful.
Homebound with two small children in London, with no access to communal play spaces, a painter who likes to paint from real life, Le Hardy had access to her subject matter removed. Isolated from every aspect of her life as a professional artist, she started to reminise, to dream, to look at images of old, nostaligic memories of her own rose tinted memories of childhood and togetherness. There is an optimistic playfulness to these works, their dreamlike quality is emphasised by the use of a clean bright sugary palette. There is a Cape Cod sunshine in these paintings that connects with the way memory has a high key, a distorted colour effect. These paintings feel nostalgic and fantastical in equal parts.
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).