Hannah Short's latest body of work for her first solo exhibition 'See you Tomorrow' has developed over the last year, largely during lockdown. The works are in two parts; small postcard sized pieces portray a window into her own view of the world, shaped by close confines. A safe, intimate space full of humour, with an unlimited examination of detail, where packaging, surfaces, actions, the minutiae of life are documented like a diary entry, in hyper coloured realism, the dial turned up to max in heightened off-skew hues. Larger works in scale show a more uncomfortable relationship; observing the outside with a sense of foreboding, fear and anxiety.
The title of the show comes from the recent painting 'See you tomorrow', which is the sister painting to 'The Beginning of the End' - where a woman, (presumably the artist) is placed centrally, against a backdrop of a world about to end in a cataclysm of environmental disaster, just over the horizon line. You sense it is coming, inevitable, and you, the watcher, like her are helpless.
These internal landscapes of fear are amplified by the external landscapes, unnatural with puceskies and red foliage. They are recognisably altered from the familiar. Similar to a wanderer in alucid dreamscape, this is part of you, a psychological projection, but nevertheless real in feeling. The landscapes of lockdown, made of the immediate and mundane, detail and pattern are givenheightened importance, and she plays with their pseudo-silly relevance - fluffy novelty slippers,patterned leggings, nose rings and computer consoles vying for picture space with a cup of tea; the small things become big things and the big scary things become manageably at bay, pushed to the edge, just over the shoulder.The most direct confrontation are the self portraits - a head on examination. Big blue eyes, redlipstick - they are brave and accepting, uncompromising, a strength evident. The unnatural skintones are the language of someone seeking to rise above seeing the mundane and acknowledging the power of what is seen beneath masks, surfaces and the wrapping of the every day.
This exhibition is supported by ABF and Cardiff Metropolitan University.
"I like to show the beauty in the unconsidered. My art is about noticing and investigating the world around me...I share the heightened, yet calm world I want to exist in, full of beauty and exaggerated colours. I can sometimes see the outside world as a threatening an dunstable place and the pandemic only heightened these feelings. I lost the pattern of going outside on a regular basis and this made it harder to get used to once again. In the painting see you tomorrow, the figure looks out at the mountain beyond the train lines as a moment of escapism. The piece is a reflection of not being able to use that train line. ”
Hannah Short 2021
Hannah Short is a Cardiff-based artist originally from a small town near Brighton, England. Since graduating from Cardiff School of Art & Design with a First Class BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2019, she was shortlisted for The Graduate Art Prize (2019) and the Contemporary Young Artist Award (2020). Her degree show work was awarded The Helen Gregory Memorial Trust Purchase Prize.
Hannah Short is an Artist Benevolent Fund (ABF) postgraduate fellow currently based at CardiffMet. University. Zoë Gingell has been working in conversation as a professional mentor over thepast 18 months with Hannah.
Photography by Aron Nelson
See you tomorrow, May 2021
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30 inches