Ray Haydon responds intuitively to space, creating works of refinement and precision. His pieces retain a lyricism and freedom of line that belie the emphasis on technical process and exactitude which go into their making.
Haydon creates his forms by imagining the broad approach he wishes to take, then mapping the works in 3 dimensions. For larger kinetic pieces he produces maquettes, however, he does not make sketches or expend excessive time planning his works in general. Instead, the process is playful and experimental – forms are arranged, dismantled and remade in an improvisational manner. In this way, some works are retained, while others are simply returned to the materials pile.
In contrast to Haydon’s intuitive and spontaneous approach to creating visual forms, he devotes much time and energy investigating the engineering required to make his pieces successful. The artist has borrowed fabrication technologies from a vast array of sources, including boat building, jewellery design, model making and fine furniture construction. In some cases he has invented and built machinery and equipment to allow him to create pieces in his preferred material. The importance of this approach cannot be overstated: it is Haydon’s willingness to find answers to any technical problem that has resulted in the range of unique processes that the artist now has at his disposal.
Haydon is currently fascinated with kinetic sculptures that act as organic entities in space. The constantly changing appearance of the kinetic work creates a dynamic relationship between the sculpture, the space and the viewer. The artist covets this increased engagement with the viewer - they must watch the piece, rather than simplylook at it. Haydon likens this to the difference between looking at an unmoving object such as a tree and watching the activity of birds in that same tree.
Haydon’s sculptures operate on a number of aesthetic and physical levels resulting in multiple vantage points. They appear lithe and supple, enlivening space, rather than overwhelming it. The scale of the works has increased over the past 5 years moving from 40cm bronze to 5 metre steel sculptures. The larger proportions mean the reach of the work is increased and as such encompasses a larger viewing area. However the physical bulk of the works has not increased – pieces remain light and airy, reflecting the artist’s desire to trace lines, rather than stamp out monuments.
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