Post the Surrealist Manifesto – Rebecca Hardaker

Fitzrovia Gallery is pleased to present ‘post the Surrealist Manifesto’, a solo presentation of London-based painter Rebecca Hardaker. In these recent, large-scale paintings, Hardaker explores notions of the subconscious through symbolism and sequences of disjointed events. Executed with an unabashed fondness for innocence, each canvas is an assemble of figures and things recognised from day-to-day life, drawn in a child-like manner, intersected by a reoccurring figure loosely identified as the artist herself. Andre Breton’s Surrealist Manifesto, published in 1924, has been an important reference for Hardaker during the time of making the paintings. ‘Psychic automatism in its pure state, Breton writes, ‘by which one proposes to express… the actual functioning of thought… in the absence of any control exercised by reason, exempt from any aesthetic or moral concern.’

Hardaker never has a plan when she starts a new painting. One thought provokes another and so gives birth to the surreal landscape her painting is. She moves around the canvas, filling it with painterly strokes and a draughtsman’s line. The process is fast and intuitive, unencumbered by rules set down by the academic tradition in painting. Her palette is bright and unreal, like one often finds a child’s choice.

Just as she never sets out a plan, Hardaker doesn’t cancel out mistakes. These are part of the composition, which is the artist’s attempt at an immediate translation of her cerebral vision before this is structured into language. Hesitating and searching for a familiar image, as one is, she gives way for whimsical uncertainty.

‘post the Surrealist Manifesto’ runs 17th to 22nd May and is open daily 12 – 6pm with a private view Thursday 6 – 9pm.

For details on works included in the exhibition contact the artist on

Rebecca Hardaker (b.1988, Yorkshire, UK) is a contemporary artist based in London. Rebecca completed a BA in Classical studies at the University of Manchester and an MA in Heritage Management at the University of Birmingham. Hardaker draws upon surrealist narratives using motifs from within her own home. She explores the intersection of painting and drawing through the use of colour and pastels.

Selected solo exhibitions include: ‘Flowers’, The Back Room at Holdrons Arcade, London (2022); ‘The Science of a perfect cup of tea’, The Koppel Project, 26 Holborn Viaduct, London (2021); ‘Window Showcase’, The Koppel Project, 54 Oxford Circus, London (2021). Selected group exhibitions include: ‘Come hither, Come hither, Come hither’, Peggy Jay Gallery, London (2021); ‘Gardens / Garages’, The koppel Project, 193 Piccadilly, London (2021); ‘The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2021’, Mall Galleries, London (2021); ‘Every Women Biennial’, Copeland Gallery, London (2021).