For Changing Pace, the second phase of work, Emma Hardy’s portraits captured the strategists, creatives, broadcasters, and many others involved in the preparation and staging of London 2012.
Emma Hardy (b.1963) strips back photographic portraiture to the essentials: light, film in her camera, and her subject. This exacting approach requires a reciprocal trust between her and the sitter and the ensuing intimacy is a hallmark of her work.
Hardy came to photography late. Her first commission for British Vogue in 2002 marked the beginning of ongoing work with leading magazines, including the New York Times and Vanity Fair, as well as commercial clients. Exceptional Youth, an earlier commission by the National Portrait Gallery, was displayed in 2006. Previously an actor, Hardy is aware of the scrutiny of the camera. She empathises with her subjects, allowing them to ‘fall into their own grace’.
For the National Portrait Gallery/BT road to 2012 Project Hardy’s portraits of the men and women involved in the preparations and staging of the London 212 Olympic and Paralympic Games alluded to the thinking their roles demand. She shows them out of office, in locations and pursuits where they might reflect of find inspiration.