The Hare, 2004, was featured in the two person exhibition, Running and Standing, with Emma Hart at The Agency, London, 2010
Extract from Press Release: ‘Running and Standing was conceived by Hart and Stidolph as a visual dialogue on a common theme and shows diverging approaches to making work; contemplation and action. The pastoral, although often associated with serenity originally stems from the notion of working the land and rearing animals. Hart and Stidolph bring their own unique perspectives to this motif. Both artists question the accuracy of the camera and both attempt to push the boundaries of representation through the lens.
Melanie Stidolph works by remaining still, unobtrusive and largely undetected, using a medium format camera to portray animals and landscapes. Stidolph records moments where the animal acts naturally rather than in direct response to her presence. Instead of relying on an existing iconography of landscape, she records and edits moments which are closest in authenticity to nature itself. On occasions those moments border on the grotesque, defying the conventions of pictorial language. In The Hare most of the image represents shrubbery and only a small centrally focussed area reveals the hare of the title. The work truthfully represents, yet also compresses the image information into an overwhelming two-dimensional pattern, within which the hare is just a small variation.
Emma Hart’s ongoing series Chasing Animals makes a point of the fact that the artist’s unconcealed presence behind the camera and her actions have an influence on the scene she is capturing. Hart creeps up on animals, but once they have seen her, instead of remaining still and utilising a zoom to get closer to the horses, sheep or geese, Hart runs towards them with a handheld video camera. Hart is trying to physically ‘zoom’ herself into the vicinity of the animals yet the act of running with the camera, scares the animals and they bolt.’