Ray Haydon is a vocational artist whose practice continues to develop in fresh ingenious ways. The work in his upcoming exhibition Superstructure maintains an immaculate sense of proportion together with an ongoing investigation of space, light and form.
Haydon’s most recent explorations involve interpretation of 20th century modernism in architecture, painting and sculpture. Working in highly innovative ways with copper, cedar and American white oak, Haydon explores the potential of positive and negative space. Importantly his new work emphasises simple horizontals and verticals which are organised asymmetrically within an overall theme of harmony and balance.
As a sculptor Haydon is interested in revealing the infinite possibilities his materials offer. What excites him is confronting the raw state of the material and its slow transformation into a complex arrangement of light, space and shadow.
The highly finished works he creates demonstrate the artist’s intuitive understanding of the materials he chooses and the properties they each offer up.
Haydon’s deep appreciation of materials accounts for the visually refined and physically tactile presentation of the works. They invite and reward both contemplation and touch; in this sense the works are engaging, revealing much more than is offered up on first viewing.
Untitled 2010 is a key work in the exhibition. The sculpture is made up of identical rods of white American oak, representing multiples of a 32mm unit measurement. While symmetry is a function of the identical measurements (as are the resulting spatial recesses) their placement throughout the 500mm labyrinthine box appears random. This reflects the artist’s process of forming works intuitively rather than from a pre-determined template. Even though Haydon’s cube is assembled rod by rod, in his mind’s eye he envisions a solid block before him from which geometrical sections are 'removed’ until the aesthetic sought reveals itself in the final form.
Within an aesthetic characterised by stability, monumentality and technical rigour the impeccable alignment and impact of innumerable horizontals and verticals (often cantilevering beyond non-existent corners and bases) Haydon articulates the interstitial spaces within his forms with quiet confidence.
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