When commissioned to take the self-portrait that accompanies this profile, 15-year-old photographer Eleanor Hardwick, who looks like a knotty Ian McEwan character come to life, says, “I’ll be quite busy tomorrow, as after school I’m going on an English trip to the theatre!” It’s this cherubic schoolgirl inexperience mixed with Cindy Sherman’s fractured self-reflexivity and the death-obsessed romanticism of Tierney Gearon that makes her such a welcome anomaly in the art world. First discovered by Dazed Digital, the online extension of Dazed & Confused magazine, in which her works appear alongside those of visionaries such as Hedi Slimane and Gareth Pugh, she has since worked with Bat for Lashes siren Natasha Khan and other cross-pollinating arbiters of fashion, music and fine art. This year alone, she’ll exhibit her work in three European shows.
Of the anti-gravity aesthetic that peppers her portfolio, the Reading, England, native says, “I just love that you can do something in a photo that you could never do in real life. I can throw some toys in the air, which would mean nothing in real life, but in a photo, those toys are frozen in the air, and it looks like I have magic powers that keep them there.” Equally interested in mental institutions and elephants, she adds, “Photography is the one thing I always look forward to. A photograph can describe how I am feeling in words that don’t exist, it’s about creating new worlds with the one we have.”
Photo: Eleanor Hardwick