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Hannah Collins

Born 1956

Hannah Collins studied at the Slade School of Art from 1974-1978; she was awarded a Fulbright-Hays Scholarship in America 1978-1979 and while there was asked to lecture at the University of Nebraska where she encountered a large collection of historic photographs which inspired her to forsake painting in favour of photography. Through this medium she set out to reflect her surroundings more closely and to explore the human, emotional and cultural connections with them.

She initially became renowned for her large, sometimes billboard sized, black and white photographs of bleak landscapes, gritty urban views or specially staged, enigmatic interiors.

She travels widely to find subjects for her work, to South Africa, for example, to photograph the now derelict hut where Nelson Mandela spent his youth, to an overgrown Jewish cemetery in Poland and to a Roma community on the outskirts of Barcelona, where she lived for twenty years.

In a recent series of works Collins has created installations using film and soundscapes as well as both large- and small-scale photographs; in the case of her exhibition The Fertile Forest she presents an intimate portrait of the life and culture of the Cofán tribe in Ecuador based on a series of visits she made from 2014-2016.

In 1993 Collins was nominated for the Turner Prize and her work is included in many collections, including Tate Modern and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Luxembourg Museum and the Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, America.

The Fragile Feast, Soy