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The British identity is dwindling - 30/9

The big picture

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Untitled IV (Balloons), 2005 by Anne Hardy

Anne Hardy’s photograph invites us to make up stories. What has kicked off here? An end-of-term physics department knees-up? An unfinished experiment into big bang theory employing party poppers and plywood? A chain-smokers’ convention? The circuit diagrams on the blackboard appear to offer some clues, but on closer inspection they seem to be mind maps for systems we can’t quite fathom. And what of the demon bunny on the shelf?

For years, Hardy has created such fictional rooms in her studio in Hackney , east London, mostly out of rubbish she has found on walking tours of the streets nearby. Sometimes, she makes casts of the things she finds and uses the cast in her pictures. She has habitually spent months putting a room together and then, when it has felt complete, she has photographed it and moved on to the next set of found objects. In recent years, she has created some rooms as installations and allowed visitors in, leaving their s...

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