For the last 10 years artist Anne Hardy has created richly detailed artificial interior spaces, rooms built to reveal something about the viewer. Each photo reads something like a scene in Myst, meant to spark questions and present puzzles.
How many years would it take for that many leaves to stack up outside of the control room windows … wait, how are the leaves even getting in? Is that a science lab or a prayer room, and either way what do the basketballs say about what’s going on in there? Everything in the image has the power to suggest something, and it’s up to the viewer to fill in the blanks.
“I am interested in spaces and objects that might have multiple roles,” Hardy told WIRED by email, “whose purposes are not immediately obvious, that ask for an imaginative engagement by the viewer in relating them to the world.”
Using mainly found items, the spaces Hardy makes are dense and visually complex but carefully composed and beautifully balanced. They manage to convey a sense of symbolic meaning without batting you over the head with it.
This body of work began in the artist’s UK studio, where she conceived, built and photographed each surreal domicile. The pieces, which she produces at a rate of about three per year, were always meant to be photographed. They were literally built around the camera.