The Hepworth Wakefield will present the first major survey of British photographer Hannah Starkey, tracing the development of her work across two decades.
Throughout her career, Starkey’s meticulously choreographed photographs have determinedly engaged with how women are represented in contemporary culture, an issue which is now centre stage.
Starkey reveals women in moments of private reflection, alienation or social interaction that might otherwise go unseen: a woman fleetingly fascinated by another woman’s reflection, or the attentive gaze of a mother carrying her child. Meanwhile, the large scale of her images suggests the recording of a monumental event. She is also witness to the powerful presence of women in our cities, from those she encountered growing up in Belfast to women and girls at recent street protests in London. On display will be photographs from Starkey’s graduation show in 1997 that immediately brought her widespread acclaim, through to a newly commissioned body of work that will be created with young women in Wakefield in 2022.
The commission will come out of a collaboration with early-career female and non-binary photographers, born or based in Yorkshire as part of The Hepworth Wakefield’s creative professional development programme. The Art House is supporting the project by providing studio space and access to dark room facilities and will present a concurrent exhibition of the early career photographer’s own work in their Tiled Gallery from October 2022 to January 2023.
‘For more than 20 years, Belfast-born Hannah Starkey’s artfully constructed portraits have captured the gestures of everyday female experience.’ The Guardian
‘Driven by familiar narratives, Hannah stages everyday moments with precision and skill; taking the quotidian, re-enacting and editing it according to her own vision.’ It’s Nice That
Exhibition made possible by the Freelands Foundation through the 2019 Freelands Award. The Hepworth Wakefield is the fourth recipient of the annual £100,000 Freelands Award, established in 2016 to enable a regional arts organisation to present a large-scale exhibition by a mid-career female artist, including the creation of a major new body of work.