Feature Soho House Art Prize winner Sarah Hardie
Kate Bryan said, “The first Soho House Art Prize was launched with Bombay Sapphire at a moment of great uncertainty across the world. We hoped it might provide a source of inspiration and support to artists at a difficult moment. We were delighted, moved and motivated by the incredible applications we received, especially those of the runners up and our fantastic winner Sarah Hardie.”
This Thursday 10 June sees the release of a new video work by Hardie, Spring sometimes rises in me too, commissioned as a result of winning the Prize. This symphonic-video-essay was written throughout lockdown in 2020 and explores a female experience of lockdown, motherhood, production and nature – the marks we leave on others and the earth around us through either our care or neglect.
Inspired by Hardie’s own biography and the events of summer 2020, Spring sometimes rises in me too arose from Hardie reading Zadie Smith’s essay ‘Peonies’ from her Intimations: Six Essays, which was written through the first lockdown, as well as the discovery of a cassette tape recorded in 1979 featuring Hardie’s mother singing along to artists she admired at the age of 23. (Her mother trained as an opera singer before Hardie was born but wasn’t able to pursue a professional career due to her child-caring responsibilities.)
This symphonic-video-essay is an ode to the unrealised dreams of mothers who have enabled their daughters through their care, and the cyclic nature of reproduction.
Hardie says: “We didn’t know what we’d find on the tape as we didn’t even have a working cassette player to play it on – all we knew was that it was a recording of ‘Robina singing’, as labelled by my gran. A friend kindly digitised the work and I ended up basing my entire film on it. It had become something even more interesting over time, with time causing literal ‘marks’ on it, which can be heard when playing it back. I love the idea of hearing time, which these marks represent, as well as the resurfacing of my mother’s hopes, dreams and talent.”
She adds: “While I’m an artist concerned with production, adding my voice to hers in the film, in many ways, represents her (re)production and my work explores the compulsion for both that I and many other women feel. I am the result of all the marks my mother has left on me, from hearing her voice in the womb onwards.”
The film will be available to watch from Thursday 10 June, via www.sohohouse.com. If Hardie has her way though, at some point in the future, it will be exhibited in a gallery, or even performed as it was originally intended before Covid-19 with an accompanying installation of thousands of flowers. Here’s hoping…
About the champion
When she’s not on our television screens helping to discover fresh artistic talent on the much-loved Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year and Landscape Artist of the Year series, Kate Bryan is still unearthing the most exciting up-and-coming talent in her role as Soho House’s head of collections. If you’re looking for the artists to watch, she’s the curator to know.