Hardwicks work is landscape based and looks at strange wilderness zones, both those seemingly natural and those man made. His paintings play with and subvert traditional ideas of landscape painting and the sublime. The images look at edgeland zones around big industrial ports, their massive car storage compounds, redundant factories and polluted waste lands.
It also looks at the more poetic and maybe presented wilderness zones like those of Dartmoor and Bodmin moor, however these are also polluted with reminders of the contemporary influence on the landscape. Roads predominate in crossing the moor, a narrow road is etched into a otherwise massive triptych, likewise a real car radiator sits in the painting distant barrow and car radiator. Cars toy ones sometimes seemingly hundreds form an image of a car storage compound at Royal Portbury Dock.
A layered landscape is a theme of Hardwicks work firstly in terms of texture, the paintings are heavily layered with different types of paint, plaster, plastics, soils, pigments, roofing felt, hay and other unconventional materials. To this rich surface often relevant toys are added, suggesting reminders or memory of the landscapes history.
This idea of a layered landscape may come partly from the artists childhood, the family farm was first sliced in half by the M5 motorway and then by the Royal Portbury deep water Dock. The land has become pure edgeland wilderness with detritus of the developments filling land that was once filled with sheep.
No image in Hardwicks work is left untouched by the notion of change, memory, history and emotion, often the landscapes story and history is purposely unclear. Hardwicks images remind us that we are just another layer in time
Qualifications and training
- 1997 MA Fine Art, University of Wales, Cardiff
- 2011 Evanescent Earth, Millenium Gallery, St Ives
- 2010 Tidal Wilderness, Victoria Art Gallery, Bath
- 2009 Where the sea meets the Estuary, Burton Art Gallery, Bideford
- 2008 Estuary with Danny Markey, Newport Museum and Art Gallery, Newport
- 2006 Forgotten Ground, Central Art Gallery, Aston under Lyne
- 2004 Between land and Tide, South Tipperary Arts Centre, South Tipperary, Southern Ireland