Nothern Irish artist Hannah Starkey on cinema, not wanting to be highbrow, growing up amid The Troubles and her hopes for her daughters.
Quietly contemplative yet intensely evocative, Hannah Starkey's photographs explore the physical and psychological connections between the individual and her everyday urban surroundings. Since the beginning of her career, the artist has worked predominantly with women as her subjects, collaborating closely with actresses as well as anonymous acquaintances she meets on-site to develop intricately textured scenes. Stark architectural backdrops and strong associations of color and imagery heighten the sensation of her compositions on both a formal and associative level, triggering personal interpretations and a deeper mediation on the experience of the visual world at large.
Born in Belfast in 1971, Hannah currently lives and works in London. She received a B.A. in Photography and Film from Napier University in Edinburgh in 1995 and an M.A. in Photography from Royal College of Art in London in 1997. She has received numerous awards and honors throughout her career, which include the Vogue Condé Nast Award (1997), the 3rd International Tokyo Photo Biennale’s Award for Excellence (1999), and the St. James Group Ltd Photography Prize (2002).
In 2000, she presented her first major solo exhibition at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin. Other important solo presentations include Twenty-Nine Pictures at the Mead Gallery at Warwick Arts Centre in Coventry, UK (2011) and Church of Light Altarpiece, a site-specific commission for St. Catherine’s Church in Frankfurt (2010). Her work has also been exhibited as part of important group presentations at Tate Liverpool, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nantes, France, Victoria and Albert Museum in London, Schirn Kunsthalle in Frankfurt, and the National Portrait Gallery in London, among other museums worldwide.
Hannah’s photographs are in the collections of the Tate in London, Huis Marseille Museum for Photography in Amsterdam, Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Centraal Museum in Utrecht.
In episode 102, Hannah discusses, among other things:
“I think if I can bring images out into the world that depict this energy, and - empowerment’s a tricky word but - this power that’s coming from this next generation, in one image, then that’s kinda my drive, that’s my motivation.”