Danielle Hardy: Golden Air


Artist Statement

I grew up as a little black girl during the golden age of the internet. The media had the ability to shape my self-image and sense of worth from a young age based on how they chose to portray the black image. Now I wield that power. I have the artistic power and means to add a new black facet to the visual zeitgeist. I want audiences to see the beauty in the black body and interact with the black body in an artistic space in ways they may not have encountered before.

My artistic practice is strongly tied to my African American identity. I use photographic mediums to explore the nuances and variability of black Americans by conceptually linking black historical themes into a modern context. I'm intrigued by how our current discussions can intersect with well-documented themes that aren't readily addressed in the black community. Above all, exalting the black body is the focus of my practice.

This work, titled "Golden Air," is a non-narrative short film about the relationship between the black body and nature. I wanted to show the beauty of blackness in nature. Often, connecting with nature is deemed a "white thing" in many black spaces. But this doesn’t make sense to me because we cultivated and made this land, which we call America. Our skin, hair, and aura came straight from the motherland of existence.
We deserve to occupy our place in nature.

About the Project

  • Title of Work: Golden Air
  • Medium: non-narrative video piece
  • Student's Name: Danielle Hardy
  • Major: Digital Storytelling
  • Anticipated Graduation Date: May 2023
  • Hometown: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
  • Student's Mentor: Desiree Moore
  • Mentor's Department: Digital Storytelling


Rachel Penn

I love your film! The imagery is pure perfection, and the message, one that speaks to me. I love the outdoors and came to understand as I got older how my freedom and privilege to wander in the woods isn't shared by everyone. I want to live in a world where everyone is safe and invited and feels welcome to embrace nature. Your message is important and your art is gift to the world.