I am an artist and photographer. My work explores magical beliefs, seasonal customs, and folklore. I studied Art and Social Context at Dartington College of Arts, and Documentary Photography under David Hurn at Newport Art College. In 2009, I completed MA Art and Design: Transnational Arts at UAL with distinction.
My practice began in the documentary photography tradition working as a freelance photographer for UK press and charities, international travel guides and NGOs. I also initiated photographic projects for marginalised groups, ran a community darkroom, completed artist residencies, and curated community and nationwide exhibitions. I currently pursue personal projects for exhibition and publication. I use digital, analogue and alternative processes.
My images have been shown at The Royal Society of Arts, Christie’s, Towner Gallery and Photofusion among others. Features include the BBC, Zeit, Atlas Obscura and in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times, and The British Journal of Photography.
Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year (Merrell, 2011), which observes how seasonal change is marked through collective rituals, was launched at the Horniman Museum with a year-long exhibition and UK tour. It included ancient and re-invented traditions and was the first exhibition to include Paganism as part of British life.
My second book Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in collaboration with museum director Simon Costin, was published by Strange Attractor Press in 2016. In the foreword, the historian Ronald Hutton describes my images as ‘rites of evocation… a radically new and exciting approach to the work of representing the past to the present.’ For this work I received Honorary Winner in the International Photography Awards.
In 2018, I was nominated for the Royal Photographic Society Hundred Heroines, and shortlisted for Urban Photography, and Photojournalism in the British Life Photography Awards. In 2019, I was shortlisted for Documentary Photography in the British Photography Awards. In 2020, I won Alternative Processes: Pollux Awards.
A recent series, Force Fields, shortlisted for Siena Creative Photo Awards, received an Honourable mention in PX3 Prix de la Photographie, is on show in Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.
My work is held in private and public collections including Horniman Museum, Museum of British Folklore, Westminster Arts Council, Royal Brompton and Harefield Arts, Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Arts and Natural History, and Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Cardiff
I am an associate lecturer at City, University of London (since 2010). I have also lectured at London Metropolitan University, Exeter University, NYU, Supernormal, Conway Hall and the Warburg Institute.
‘Sara Hannant shows a keen eye for the unexpected, but never allows that to detract from her subjects. Some of the images have a spontaneous immediacy while others introduce more depth and measured aesthetic – unfussy and beautifully shot.’ Gervase Gordon, London Art.
Recent and forthcoming Exhibitions
2022 Your Body Belongs to You, St Gilles Croix de Vie, France
2021 Postcards from Europe, University of Cambridge
2021 Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Hampshire
2021 Shutter Hub Open 2021, St Margaret’s House, London
2021 Salon/21, Photofusion, London
2021 Shutter Hub Open 2020/21, Gallery 5&33 and Art’otel Amsterdam
2021 Postcards from Great Britain, Bergen up Zoom, The Netherlands
2020 The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year, St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Lymington, Hampshire
2020 Postcards from Great Britain, Vlieger Thieffrystraat, Brussels, Belgium
2020 Postcards from Great Britain, Hotel Lion d’Or, Haarlem, The Netherlands
2020 Enchanted Environments: Eco-Criticism and Folklore Studies, Art House, Worcester
2019-20 Everyday Delight, Free Space Project, London
2019 13th Julia Margaret Cameron Award, FotoNostrum Gallery, Barcelona
2019 Trans-States: The Art of Revelation, University of Northampton
2019 Artist installation, Magickal Women Conference, Baden Powell House, London
2019 Lunation, Charlton House, London (solo)
2019 Women Photographers Now, Valid Foto Gallery, Barcelona
2019 12th Pollux Awards, Valid Foto Gallery, Barcelona
2018-19 Women in Focus, Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Cardiff
2018-19 The Shutter Hub Open Old Truman Brewery, London, 5&33 Gallery, Amsterdam
2018 Because We Can! Pil’ours International Festival, Saint Gilles Croix de Vie, France
2018 Time and Tradition, Time Unwrapped 2018, Kings Place, London
2017-18 The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in London, The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London
2017 Salon/17, Photofusion, London
2017 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Museum of Oxford (solo)
2017 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, The Beacon Museum, Cumbria (solo)
Horniman Museum, London
Museum of British Folklore, UK
Westminster Arts Council, London
Royal Brompton and Harefield Arts, London
Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Arts and Natural History, London
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, Cardiff
Recent Awards and Nominations
2021 International Photography Awards, Professional Analog/Film, Other, 2nd Place
2021 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Alternative Processes, Series, Runner-up
2021 PX3 – Prix de la Photographie, Paris, Fine Art, Nature, Honourable Mention
2021 Pollux Awards, Still Life Series, Second Place, and Culture and Daily Life, Honourable Mention
2021 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Alternative Processes and Still life Series, Honourable Mention
2020 Pollux Awards, Alternative Processes Series, Winner
2020 International Photo Awards (Lucie), Honourable Mention
2020 Siena Creative Photo Awards 2020, Shortlist
2020 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Still Life Series, and Documentary and Reportage Series, Honourable Mention
2019 The Royal Photographic Society Hundred Heroines: Nominated
2019 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Still Life and Abstraction Series, Honourable Mention
2019 National Lottery Heritage Fund, Photography Project Grant, Lunation, Moon Festival 2019
2019 British Photography Awards, Documentary Photography, Shortlist
2019 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, People, and Still Life Series, Honourable Mention
2019 British Life Photography Awards 2018, Urban Life, Documentary Series, and Photojournalism, Shortlist
2018 Pollux Awards, Open Theme Series, Honourable Mention
2018 Julia Margaret Cameron Award, Still Life Series, Honourable Mention
2017 The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Book Shortlist
2017 International Photo Awards (Lucie), Honourable Mention
2017 Moscow International Foto Awards, Book – Documentary, Honourable Mention
2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, Honourable Mention
2015 Moscow International Foto Awards, Honourable Mention
2015 Lens Culture Earth Award, Selected
2013 International Photo Awards, Photography Book of the Year, Honourable Mention
2012 Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Book Runner-up
Visiting lecturer at City, University of London and London Metropolitan University.
2021 Sky in Legend and Tradition, The Fifteenth Legendary Weekend of The Folklore Society, Medieval Hall, Salisbury
2020 Folk Horror III, Peer Hat, Manchester
2018 Enchanted Encounters: Reaffirming a Magical Heritage. Art, Materiality and Representation. Royal Anthropological Association, British Museum, and SOAS, London
2017 Witchcraft, Magic, and Photography. Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions, New York University
2017 Strange Attractor Artist talk, Supernormal, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
2017 Of Shadows: Strange Attractor Artist talk, The Horse Hospital, London
2017 Ladybird Cinderella: Your House is on Fire. All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire
2017 Numinous, Ritual ‘Litter’ Redressed: The heritage of contemporary deposits, University of Hertfordshire
2017 A Charmed Life – Fertility talismans, healing rituals and funeral tributes, Folklore from the Cradle to the Grave, University of Edinburgh.
2017 London Fortean Society presents The Haunted Landscape: British Folklore and Ghosts, Conway Hall, London
Full CV available on request