Sarah Hardacre is a visual artist based in Manchester whose works explore the experience of women within the urban built environment and the complex relationship between female bodies, architecture and space. Sarah predominantly works with paper collage and silkscreen print to reference a social historical research, exploring the architectural legacies of post war civic development and the Modernist dreams of high rise streets in the sky.

Drawing from archival images of architecture that are often sourced from local history archives and juxtaposing them with women clipped from second hand gentlemen’s magazines, Sarah’s compositions enable a politically charged perspective, enshrined in the personal and private. The contrasts and contradictions can be as challenging as the viewer is willing to entertain and as entertaining as the viewer wants them to be.

The women in Sarah’s artwork are boldly superimposed onto her canvas. They draw strength from fragilities, bringing the promise of societal change on a grander scale. Using manipulation and montage to disrupt, Sarah encourages us to reevaluate the context within which these superimposed elements reside. We are drawn to Sarah’s works for their ability to unveil the often overlooked stories hidden within the fabric of our everyday spaces.

Sarah Hardacre is represented by Paul Stolper in London. Her works are included in many notable collections, including the British Museum, British Council and Damien Hirst’s Murderme private collection.

Art Gene has been working with visual artist Sarah Hardacre as part of our ‘Lost Shops’ programme for Duke Street. During Sarah’s residency, she has explored the forgotten histories and personal narratives of former shops on Duke Street, Barrow’s ‘High Street Heritage Action Zone (HSHAZ)’, drawing inspiration from Barrow Archives, historians, consultants and the local community.

Through interviews, workshops with Women’s Community Matters and Age Concern, and a ‘Memory stall’ at Barrow Market, she has gathered photographs and personal accounts from people who have worked or shopped on Duke Street. The culmination of her research will take the form of a lightbox installation in shops, along Duke Street, comprising of fourteen light boxes displaying archival images and Sarah’s photographic collages that bring to life the histories of the lost shops. A temporary billboard will also serve as a canvas to showcase the rich tapestry of narratives that Sarah unearths during her residency.

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