Emma Hardy

Nicola Benedetti, b. 1987. Violinist (28th August 2006)

About this artwork

This photograph of violinist Nicola Benedetti was commissioned as part of a portfolio of portraits of exceptional young Britons. The project was a collaboration between the National Portrait Gallery, London, and the European Editor of Teen Vogue, Jenny Dyson. Born in West Kilbride, Benedetti started playing the violin aged four. When she was sixteen she became the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year, and has since gone on to release several albums. Framed against the door, Benedetti is captured in a moment of solitude and contemplation, far removed from her public persona. Hardy recalled the experience of photographing these young people: “My pictures try to reflect the lows and the struggle of their journey, as well as the highs...”

Emma Hardy

Emma Hardy

Hardy initially trained as an actress, studying drama at Bristol University from 1981 to 1983. However, in 2000, after several years in the industry, Hardy began a photography course at Suffolk College. Although not completing the degree due to an injury, she has gone on to become a respected photographer, working for publications such as the New York Times, Vanity Fair and Vogue. Her output is predominantly portrait based and she has stated: “My aim is to move people and stir thought (fullness)… I work with natural or available light and I try not to impose myself on my subjects – rather allowing them to fall into the natural grace of things.”