In a well-known painting by Magritte, an apple is so huge that it fills a room, writes Andrew Mead. There's the same immediate oddness in one of Anne Hardy's large photographs at Tony Fretton's ArtSway gallery: what looks like an indoor forest, a sudden incursion of nature, is a lumber room packed with Christmas trees. But as a rule her images, all interiors, have a slowerburn effect. It's as their details accumulate, and they play off one another, that progressively they become more strange.
'I didn't set out to make the images overly sinister, and I imagine the world they are part of is just outside of where we're sat, ' says Hardy. 'I think they seem menacing as they are a bit unplaceable; their identity is ambiguous.
There is also the sense that these places are descending into chaos, for reasons we're unsure of. I want the work to suggest that the order and control we think we have may be an illusion of sorts.' Hardy sets the scene and then photographs it; these shots are all staged. But they're not so removed from 'reality' that we reject them as artifice; they're plausible. They invite us to speculate and construct a narrative around them, but no one narrative is conclusive; they're not puzzles awaiting a correct solution.
A cross between Gaston Bachelard and David Lynch? Perhaps they're more like places that we know or inhabit than the pristine enclaves in most architecture magazines.