Katharine Le Hardy (born 1981) studied Fine Art at the University of the West of England in Bristol graduating in 2003.
Since then she has regularly shown her work in London and throughout the UK, including the Chichester Open in 2005 and Smithfield Gallery, London in 2010 (solo show) and Chapel Row Gallery, Bath in 2009 (mixed show "Lay of the Land").
In 2005 she... was Highly Commended, Young Artist of the year at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and was awarded the NADFAS young artist prize, Guggleton Gallery, Dorset. In 2006 she was runner up at the Royal Bath and West Art Scholarship prize. In January 2008 Katharine was awarded runner up in the biennial Gilchrist Fisher prize, hosted at Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London.
Katharine is known for her contemporary Beach scenes with surfers and people enjoying the seaside, these are of the South West and also in Scotland.
She says "Landscapes are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am particularly interested in approaching this traditional subject in an interesting way by looking at different viewpoints and unusual horizon lines."
Working from sketches and photographs, Katharine endeavours to create a window on an imaginary space. The absence of obvious landmarks and identifiable features enables the images to exist as timeless, dreamlike expanses, inviting the viewer into a restorative space and opportunity for reflection in calm solitude.
Katherine avoids picture postcard moments at all costs. Katharine is drawn to structures, often abandoned and decaying, portraying how they interact with the environment they inhabit. Katharine uses a process of applying layers of paint, pulling them back and letting the paint create its own dialogue. Katharine’s work embodies a powerful abstract spectacle, whilst always beefing grounded by a figurative subject. This juxtaposition goes beyond visual representation and directs her image towards the very spirit of what she is trying to depict.
Katharine likes to use gestural marks and loose impasto brushwork to engage the viewer and charge the composition with movement and dynamism, whilst still maintaining balance, building up the paint and alternating transparent and opaque layers, dripping, washing, splashing, allowing it to take its own fluid course and give the image a life of its own.
Katherine's latest body of work is concerned with documenting the regeneration of the Wimbledon Greyhound Stadium. The artist has focused her attention on capturing large sections of the stadium being dismantled and taking on new forms. As each layer of the building is stripped back, Katherine is given a completely new perspective on the scale and historical significance of the stadium. She feels obliged to focus on the structures historical importance when recording it's final chapter.