Haward creates interventions and assemblages that involve the superimposition of different media onto objects, structures and architectural spaces. She looks for ways of expressing a sense of shifting form and meaning, by overlaying one space with the memory or traces of its self or of another related site, changing the quality of the host space without obliterating it’s essential character.
Haward works in different environments and spaces because they offer an oportunity to respond in a speculative way to the physicality of a site and to think around a series of problems and subjects that arise from just being and getting to know a particular space or place. The gathering of sensory and narrative strands takes place until there is an accumulated pile of stuff to experiment with and develop. The process of knitting together elements of being, of initial intuitive responses, researched narrative and historical information leads to a slow gathering of the site to self and a momentary sense of ownership, followed by a fleeting collaboration with the site to create a new layer of meaning.
One of the key ideas informing this process is a desire to freely explore and experiment with and subvert ideas about scale, form and meaning in order to create interventions that promote a sense of curiosity and openness to the unknown. The aim being to create an experience that expands and/or subverts the reading of a site or location. Each site provides an opportunity to create something that takes shape in an entirely specific way so that each project has a unique outcome.
In some cases the building or site iteself inspires and informs the outcome, yet beyond this there are seams of interest that recurr, including an interest in Utopias and Dystopias, often, as described in fiction and science fiction and their relationship to the failure of Modernism. An ongoing interest in film and expanded cinema informs some work and there is also a desire to provide a space for audeinces to explore how we experience space with our bodies and senses. Underlying themes such as Foucault's often confusing designations of heterotopic space and Pallasmaa's deep seated belief that architecture needs to appeal to more than just the eye also crop up. Haraway's Cyborg Manifesto, which combines a range of thoughts about the realtionships between feminism, affinities and technology are also of interest.
Haward's practice has a multidisciplinary dimension, operating at the intersection of intervention, large scale assemblages and moving image work. In some cases complex layers of interpretation and invention involve the use of video, sculpture, photography and sound to create a layered reading and interruption of space. Sometimes there is a play off between analogue and digital technoloty and some interventions might be devised to provoke an embodied experience of space, whilst creating an uneasy encounter between the audience and their ideas about place.
Sharon Haward is based in Hastings. She completed a Fine Art degree at Newcastle University and more recently graduated with distinction from the University of Brighton with an MA in Digital Media Arts. Working in new and unknown places provide a stimulus for new discoveries and ways of thinking about the relationship between the artist, space and location. Projects and collaborations created over the last ten years include those created forestablished galleries and art spaces, public spaces to underground sites and abandoned buildings. Haward has worked with a range of artists and curators from Europe and UK to produced installations, projections and interventions in a range of abandoned, empty and public spaces and buildings in UK, Belgium and France.