Hartley’s knowledge and curiosity were passed from her father’s background in conservation and restoration. These experiences provided her with not only an understanding and respect for deeply rooted traditions but also the tools and skillset to integrate them into her own practice. As she delved into her master’s studies at the RCA, Hartley discovered a fresh dialogue in her work through mono screen-printing. This outlet expanded her practice organically, from smaller discreet 1/1 monoprints to large-scale installations that demand attention.
In recent years, Hartley’s intrigue has drawn her back to the fundamentals of oil and canvas, now her dominant medium. Exploring a deeper purpose and connection to her practice, she maintains the same labour-intensive curiosity seen in her previous works. From the stretching and priming of canvas to expressive mark-making and symbiotic riots of colour, there exists a more intimate conversation between the artist and the painting.
Hartley emphasizes the sensitivity of painting, acknowledging its complexity and occasional overwhelming nature. She notes that being an artist, being human, involves grappling with uncertainties and complexities, finding beauty in the simple act of seeking resolution and understanding.