Sarah Hardacre, Arms Open to Welcome the Sun, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist and Paul Stolper Gallery, London.

Sarah Hardacre, Arms Open to Welcome the Sun & Forget Mermaids

Year: 2012
Medium: Screenprints
Brief biography: b. 1977.  Lives and works in Salford, UK.

Hardacre is an alumna of the University of Salford graduating with first class honours in Visual Arts in 2008.

The image in the background of Arms Open to Welcome the Sun is of a photograph of Brydon Close, Salford (located near the University of Salford).

Sarah Hardacre source the photographs from these screenprints and others for this series from the Local History Library based in Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Sarah Hardacre, Forget Mermaids, 2012. Image courtesy of the artist and Paul Stolper Gallery, London.

Arms Open to Welcome the Sun and Forget Mermaids are from a body of work that presents a series of collages that appropriate photographs of Salford tower blocks and images cut from second hand pornographic magazines. While the subject matter of these works is, in the main, the voluptuous landscape of the female body overlaying the phallic like uprising of the modern, concrete inner city skyline; these pieces are far from being a feminist critique.

Rather, they can be viewed as a biographical fetishism of the artist, a juxtaposition of the dehumanising elements of the architectural surroundings of her home with the very human act of physical sensuality and eroticism. The themes merging from Hardacre’s collages explore various systems of control: on a local level; in the geography of the urban built environment, and on a more universal level; in the psychology of power relationships within sexuality.

Drawing on the utopian ideologies of modernist architecture, the tower block backgrounds reference the social  engineering of urban regeneration and housing redevelopment schemes and the effects of such projects in constructing how public and private spaces are occupied and used. Contrastingly, the sexual and erotic content seeks to investigate a strictly individualised world of control, of fetish and fantasy, desire and deviancy, submission and domination. (Source: Paul Stopler Gallery).