MEET ARTIST HAYDEN JACKSON
Hayden Jackson is an emerging artist living and working in the town of Seaspray, on the south-eastern coast of Victoria, Australia. Jackson uses litres of acrylic and enamel t to create loosely painted portraits of immense presence and power. Across such a large surface Jackson is able to manipulate and control the movement of the paint; tilting and manoeuvring the large stretchers physically to convey line and depth.
Hayden Jackson was the winner of the Richard (Dick) Bishop Emerging Art Prize at the Latrobe Regional Gallery, in 2016. As part of his award Jackson was able to utilise one of the Morwell Galleries to present a selection of new work titled Politics of Paint. We at Piermarq were impressed by this exhibition and subsequently featured Jackson’s work in our Summer 2016 Group show titled Rodeo Sideshow.
In the lead up to Hayden Jackson’s solo exhibition Flux , opening on Thursday 17 August 2017 – we asked him a few questions.
Hayden Jackson in the studio, Longford VIC
Can you tell us about how you got into art? From a plumbing apprenticeship to a Fine Arts Degree is a huge change!
I left school relatively early to pursue plumbing, after three or so years plumbing I felt unhappy so re-enrolled to complete year 12. During my final year of schooling I was fortunate enough to have had a very passionate and enthusiastic teacher who had the same love for art as I did. I feel as if it wasn’t for this specific teacher I may have not ended up where I am. From there I enrolled in an Bachelor of Visual Arts at Monash University.
Did you engage with art growing up? Is there much a creative community where you live and practice?
Gippsland is huge and there are a lot of amazing artists which reside and practice in the area. The Sale and Morwell Galleries attract a broad range of interesting and conceptually challenging artists. These galleries have been a great source of inspiration over the years and have broadened my understanding of contemporary art within Australia. My Grandmother is a painter and I remember spending hours on end drawing while she worked in her studio.
Can you expand upon the process in creating your works? What inspired you to create work in this way?
Trial and error. During my time at university I was interested in the process of painting and material quality of paint. The last 5-7 years have been an ongoing experiment in material and process. Mark-making is another form of artistic expression I explore within my work. The idea that a mark has to be made with an implement has be eradicated from my studio practice (I have one working paint brush!)
How do you begin a work? Is it planned or very spontaneous?
I generally start with a pre-conceived idea but once I’ve left that intial take-off point the painting itself becomes rather spontaneous and sporadic.
Your paintings are conceptually concerned with discourses of gender and masculinity. Can you talk us through these ideas?
My interest in gender, specifically masculinity, lies within my location. I feel that we have a rather skewed perception of masculinity within Australian culture, especially in the country. I try to reference notions of gender in my work through the exploration of colour, gesture, texture and form. I aim to create a clash of opposites on canvas, whether it be through strong harsh lines softly blended in natural and flowing curves.
Installation view from Rodeo Sideshow – Him (left) & Her (right), 2016, Acrylic & enamel on canvas, 180 x 150cm each.
Your use of colour is eye-catching and bold. In what ways do you engage with it to evoke your concept?
Colour is evocative of gender, perhaps it shouldn’t be, but it is. I try to analyse gender through specifics colours; colours which are relevant to certain stereotypes which still reside in Australian culture. My colour palette examines how we perceive certain stereotypes within society, strong masculine shapes and forms can be found cropped on very delicate backdrops.
You are currently in Europe. Where are you headed? And what are you excited to see? (Very jealous by the way!!)
Well I’d love to make it to the Venice Biennale and Basel Art Fair. I’m staying in London for a couple of months, so I’ll be definetly checking out Tate Modern. I’m also interested in exploring London’s boroughs and trying to find some small artist run initiative spaces. I’ve been Berlin and explored the art scene there which is pretty cutting edge when it comes to post-contemporary painting.
What can we expect to see in your upcoming solo exhibition at Piermarq?
I’m really excited to be a part of Piermarq’s calender for 2017. It’ll be great to come home and touch base with everyone since I’ll away for the good half of this year. My latest body of work is similar to my last showing at Piermarq, however I’ve refined my works and I feel like my paintings are more resolved, both technically and conceptually. I’ve been playing around with a lot of new ideas lately and I feel as if these works have been some of my strongest to date.
Flux opens on Thursday 17 August 2017, and runs until Saturday 2 September 2017
More info on Hayden Jackson here