Press release

HANNAH STARKEY
2 October - 2 November 2002

We are pleased to present the recent works of young Irish photographer Hannah Starkey. Born in Belfast in 1971, since 1996 she lives in London where she studied at the Royal College of Art and started her artistic career. In 2000 she had exhibitions at the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin and at the in the Castello di Rivoli in Turin. In 2001 she was nominated for the "Citibank Prize" and she participated in the exhibition "Instant city" at the Pecci Museum in Prato (Italy). Her works have been acquired by Tate Gallery in London where they are on permanent display.

Hannah Starkey's photographs above all depict women. They are taken in London, Belfast and Dublin and are tied to life experience in these intensely urban places. They portray moments of daily life, and recall documentary photography, but in fact they are planned and constructed in every detail, and staged with professional actresses. The apparently casual moment becomes monumental, and these images seem sharper and more precise than reality itself.

As in a film, each actress interprets a precise role. The relationships between the figures create the tension and atmosphere of the image, without the narrative becoming explicit. The images re-create more or less casual encounters, situations that are at times subtly surreal, moments of transition, in which the figures seem to be looking inwards. The strength of Hannah Starkey's photographs lies partly in the combination between melancholia and modernity: they are allegories of our time. They are subtlely seductive images, that have the power to activate our personal memories.

Texts

Hannah Starkey