Roll Hardy is proving to be a contemporary Northwest regionalist. For his subject matter, Hardy seeks out and paints society’s urban cast-offs. Places that have become abandoned and derelict, sometimes hidden from mainstream society. Distressed and deserted they embody a mysterious history. These industrial locales become archeological, created by layers of various exploitations; items stripped of their original purpose, and taken over by graffiti, squatting, and new uses. There is a plethora of disconnected forensic clues that have become distanced by time and space. Hardy writes, “I question what role these spaces serve in our culture now and how the individual relates to them in our own search for meaning and understanding.” An adept painter, Hardy finds a beauty in this difficult and immediate subject matter through his unique perspective and soulful interpretation. The results are paintings that question the detachment of places from society and the loss of their original meaning.
A native of New Hampshire, Roll Hardy moved to the Northwest and graduated from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in 2002. As a promising young painter, he received several scholarships during his studies including the C.S. Price Award for Painting in 2002, Thesis Prize, Pacific Northwest College of Art, 2002, and The Venice Foundation Painting Scholarship, 2000-02. His work has been included in many local group shows and is part of the Visual Chronicle of Portland collection.