Aurora Borealis, mirages, thunder and birdsong – Hannah Rickards, the new laureate of the art prize of Mah Mara, loves nature. She turns natural phenomena into conceptual art.

Winning the second Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2009 competition, Saint Martins College graduate of the Arts department, Hannah Ricards, received a one-year internship at two Italian art institutes and the opportunity to create a work for Collezzione Maramotti, located in Reggio Emilia, in the former factory of Mach Maga . “I had a studio in Italy, there was a time that I devoted to thinking about future work. It is very difficult when you are at home, in a big city. ” Having invented a story about a mirage city on Lake Michigan, where every spring, due to temperature differences, a vision of a city with houses, lights and cars arises, Hannah flew to the USA.

After reading her advertisement in a local newspaper, fifty witnesses came to her for an interview. “I’m interested in how people describe their relationships with natural phenomena – how they select words, imitate sounds, and what kind of images they have. This is more fascinating than the phenomena themselves. ” Having filmed the interview, Hannah turned what people said into a score: monologues shrank, overlapped one another and paused in pauses. Installation No, there was no red came out like an endless recitative about a ghost town.