Alex Hartley is an internationally recognised artist who is known for working with photography and architecture, often incorporating both into sculpture and installation. Hartley’s work often suggests how we might think differently about our constructed surroundings, and how we occupy landscape. His artistic practice is wide ranging, comprising wall-based sculptural photographic compositions, room-sized architectural installations and interventions.
His performance piece ‘Vigil’, part of Folkestone Triennial 2014, saw him suspended with climbing equipment from the top floor of the Grand Burstin Hotel, which resembles an ocean liner and overlooks Folkestone Harbour. This climber’s camp was inhabited for the duration of the Triennial, by the artist and by volunteers, all of whom kept a log of what they observed.
This act of vigil has resonance both with the recent Occupy movement and with the ancient tradition of hermits retreating from the world to a high place in order to fulfil their functions as a ‘seer’ better (St. Simeon Stylites among others).
Hartley lives and works in Devon and London. Hartley’s Nowhereisland was one of 12 Artists Taking the Lead projects across the UK which formed part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. He has shown in both national and international exhibitions including: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Denmark (2000); National Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan (2001); Distrito Cuatro, Madrid (2003); Natural History Museum, London (2006); Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2007), b-side, Portland (2014).