Sara Hannant is an award-winning photographer best known for her photographs exploring magical belief, seasonal customs, and folklore. She began her practice in the documentary photography tradition and has a dynamic approach to image making and visual storytelling.
Sara has exhibited widely including at The Royal Society of Arts, Christie’s and Towner Gallery. Her photographs have been featured on the BBC, Zeit, Atlas Obscura and in The Guardian, The Sunday Times, and The British Journal of Photography among others. To coincide with the publication of Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year (Merrell, 2011) the Horniman Museum launched a touring exhibition of her work. She received the runner-up Katharine Briggs Folklore Award in 2012. Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (Strange Attractor Press,2016) was awarded Honorary Winner in the International Photography Awards.
In 2018, she was nominated for the Royal Photographic Society Hundred Heroines, was an honorary winner in the Julia Margaret Cameron Award and shortlisted for Urban Photography, and Photojournalism in the British Life Photography Awards. In 2019, she was shortlisted for Documentary Photography in the British Photography Awards. Her series Rift was shortlisted for Creative Photo Awards 2020, and Betwixt was winner of the 15th Pollux Awards: Alternative Processes.
Sara’s most recent body of work Natural Magic, made during the pandemic, explores a series of objects attributed with powers of protection. She is an associate lecturer at City, University of London and London Metropolitan University.
“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.
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)
Recent Awards and Nominations
2020 15th Pollux Awards: Winner Alternative Processes Series
2020 International Photo Awards: Honorable Mention Fine Art, Still Life Series
2020 Creative Photo Awards 2020: Shortlisted Series
2020 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Award: Honourable Mention Still Life Series, and Documentary and Reportage Series
2019 14th Pollux Award: Honourable Mention Still Life & Abstractions
2019 The Royal Photographic Society Hundred Heroines: Nominated
2019 14th Julia Margaret Cameron Award: Honourable Mention Still Life
2019 Heritage Fund Photography Project Grant: Lunation, Moon Festival 2019
2019 British Photography Awards: Shortlisted Documentary Photography
2019 13th Pollux Award: Honourable Mention People, and Still Life
2019 13th Julia Margaret Cameron Award: Honourable Winner Portraiture, and Still Life
2019 British Life Photography Awards 2018: Shortlisted Urban Life, Documentary Series and Photojournalism
2018 12th Pollux Award: Honourable Mention Still Life
2018 12th Julia Margaret Cameron Award: Honourable Mention: Still Life
2017 The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award: Shortlisted Book
2017 International Photo Awards: Honourable Mention Still Life
2017 Moscow International Foto Award: Honourable Mention Still Life
2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris: Honourable Mention Still Life
2015 Moscow International Foto Award: Honourable Mention Still Life
2015 Lens Culture Earth Award: Selected
2013 International Award for Photography: Photo Book Honorary Mention
2012 Katharine Briggs Folklore Award: Runner-up Book
Visiting lecturer at City, University of London and London Metropolitan University.
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