Sara Hannant is an award-winning photographer whose work is widely exhibited at venues including at the Horniman Museum, Towner Gallery and Christie’s. Her photographs have been featured on the BBC, and in The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Sunday Times and The British Journal of Photography among others.

She studied Art in the Social Context at Dartington College of Arts, Documentary Photography at Gwent College of Art under David Hurn, and Transnational Art (MA) at UAL with distinction.

An associate lecturer in photojournalism at City, University of London, and London Metropolitan University, Sara’s work has been involved with a broad range of documentary practice and visual storytelling from editorial, campaign, humanitarian to socially engaged projects. She is perhaps best known for her images exploring magical belief, seasonal customs, and folklore.  She has lectured widely on her work and topics surrounding her work at venues including New York University, Supernormal and The Warburg Institute.

Sara’s artist residency at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic has resulted in the book Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic (2016) co-authored with Simon Costin published by Strange Attractor Press.  It was shortlisted for the Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Honorary Winner in the International Photography Awards: Book of the Year 2017 and the Moscow International Foto Awards in 2016.

Her work on contemporary seasonal rites Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year (2011) was the first British ethnographic exhibit to be shown at the Horniman Museum, and is now a touring exhibition.  It is also the first exhibition to normalise representations of Paganism as part of English society.  Her book of the same title published by Merrell received the runner-up Katharine Briggs Folklore Award in 2012.

In Numinous, commissioned by Forty Hall Museum and shortlisted for the Lens Culture Earth Award, Sara explores her interest in the magical properties of the photographic process aiming to engage the viewers’ imagination in the act of transformation. Inspired by healing rituals at Madron Well in Cornwall, the work reanimates discarded non-degradable offerings left at the site by employing the elemental forces of water, air, earth and fire to mirror the various states of healing understood by ancient folk magic.

While her series Your House is on Fire, presents a retelling of the Cinderella story examining the persecuted heroine and female identity, for which she was an Honorary Winner in Prix de la Photographie Paris: Px3 in 2015.

 “Sara Hannant shows a keen eye for the unexpected, but never allows that to detract from her subjects.  Some of the images have a spontaneous immediacy while others introduce more depth and measured aesthetic – unfussy and beautifully shot.” Gervase Gordon, London Art.

Recent Exhibitions

2017 – 18 The Museum of Witchcraft and Magic in London, The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, London
2017 Salon/17, Photofusion, London
2017 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Museum of Oxford (solo exhibition)
2017 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, The Beacon Museum, Cumbria (solo exhibition)
2016 Of Shadows, Lo & Behold, Photomonth Photography Festival, London (solo exhibition)
2016 International Foto Awards, Na Kashirke Gallery, Moscow
2016 The Ballad of British Folklore, Christie’s, 
London
2016 Glitter and Gravedust: Halloween Past and Present, Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Cornwall
2015 Out of the Fire, Oxford House, Photomonth Photography Festival, London (solo exhibition)
2015 Numinous, Forty Hall Museum, Enfield (solo exhibition)
2014 I:MAGE 2014 – Travelling with Unfamiliar Spirits, The Cob Gallery, London
2014 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Forty Hall Museum, Enfield (solo exhibition)
2014 Royal Anthropological Institute Anthropology and Photography Conference, British Museum
2013 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Oxfordshire Museum (solo exhibition)
2013 Photography Alumni Exhibition, University of Wales, Gwent
2013 Collective Observations: Folklore and Photography from Benjamin Stone to Flickr, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne
2012 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Cecil Sharp House, London (solo exhibition)
2012 Filtre: Unfiltered, Maria’s, Chicago
2012 Migration, Orange Dot Gallery, London
2011 Foto8 Summershow, Host Gallery, London
2011 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids: A Journey through the English Ritual Year, Horniman Museum, London (solo exhibition)
2011 Foto8 Awards, Crane Kalman, Brighton, Sussex
2008 Konstam, Calumet Gallery, London
2008 Country Life, Shire Hall Gallery, Staffordshire
2008 Harvest for Health, Royal Brompton Hospital, London (solo exhibition)
2008 Bread Street, Gunnersbury Park Museum, London (solo exhibition)
2008 Bread Street, Lewisham Library, London (solo exhibition)
2007 Harvest for Health, Maudsley Hospital, London (solo exhibition)
2007 Bread Street, Stoney Street, London (solo exhibition)
2006 Harvest for Health, City Hall, London (solo exhibition)
2006 Bread St, The Hub, London (solo exhibition)

Performances

2016 The Barbican and UK tour. Shirley Collins Lodestar performances include Sara’s photographs of Hastings Jack in the Green and Lewes Bonfire, part of Nick Abrahams visuals
2013 The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford upon Avon, The Royal Shakespeare Company production of As you like it informed by Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids
2012 The Horniman Museum, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance performances inspired by Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids, part of The Big Dance

Awards

2017 The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Shortlisted
2017 International Photography Awards, Honorable Mention
2017 Moscow International Foto Award, Honorable Mention
2016 PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris, Honorable Mention
2015 Moscow International Foto Award, Honorable Mention
2015 Lens Culture Earth Award, Selected
2012 The Katharine Briggs Folklore Award, Runner-up
2007 The Terry O’Neill Award, Shortlisted
2006 Resurgence Photography Award, Winner
2005 Arts Council England, Project Award
2004 Arts Council England, Project Award
1998 Home 2000 Photography Award, Winner
1995 The British Airways Award for the Young Achievers in Art, Winner
1994 BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour Capture the World Award, Runner-up
1992 London Arts Board Production Bursary
1990 South Bank Photo Show, Prize Winner

Research/Academia

2017 Witchcraft, Magic, and Photography.  Contemporary Art and Scholarship on the Esoteric Traditions, NYU
2017 Ladybird Cinderella: Your House is on Fire. All about Cinderella: retellings in the cultural imagination, University of Bedfordshire
2017 Numinous, Ritual ‘Litter’ Redressed: The heritage of contemporary deposits, University of Hertfordshire
2017 A Charmed Life – Fertility talismans, healing rituals and funeral tributes at Sancreed and Madron wells in Cornwall, Folklore from the Cradle to the Grave, University of Edinburgh.  
2016 Knitted Poppet with Photograph, First Royal Anthropology Institute Salon, London
2016 Magical Objects: Reflections on an artist residency at the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Trans –States: The Art of Crossing Over, The University of Northampton
2015 The Folklore Society presents Photography, Folklore and some Confusions: Sara Hannant and Doc Rowe, Warburg Institute, London
2015 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids, Calendar Customs and Seasonal Events Conference, Exeter University
2010 – Visiting Lecturer and Module Leader: Visual Journalism, and Advanced Photojournalism, City, University of London

Public talks and Broadcasts

2017 Witchcraft, Magic and Photography, Occult Humanities Conference, New York University
2017 Strange Attractor Artist talk, Supernormal, Braziers Park, Oxfordshire
2017 Of Shadows: Strange Attractor Artist talk, The Horse Hospital, London
2016 Can the taking of a photograph be recognised as a ritual in itself?  There then, hear now, Resonance FM with Mark Aitken
2016 Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, The Haunted Landscape: British Folklore and Ghosts, presented by Fortean Times, Conway Hall, London
2016 Tour and talk about Of Shadows: One Hundred Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic  A Festival Season of Light, Lo & Behold, London
2016 Witchcraft’s Artifacts: An illustrated talk by Sara Hannant Treadwell’s Books, London
2016 Of Shadows: Objects from the Museum of Witchcraft and Magic Sara Hannant, South East London Folklore Society, London
2015 BBC Mark Forrest Evening Show interview with Sara Hannant
2015 In Conversation with Sara Hannant, Forty Hall Museum, Enfield
2012 Talking Books with Sara Hannant The Astor Theatre, Deal, Kent
2012 A photographic journey through the English Ritual Year, South East London Folklore Society, London
2012 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids Treadwell’s Books, London
2012 Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids BBC Radio Oxford
2012 Meet the Artist: Sara Hannant, Forty Hall Museum, Enfield
2012 Talking Books with Sara Hannant The Astor Theatre, Deal, Kent