Mention carbon fibre and most people think of the solid, utilitarian forms of racing yachts and supercars. Parnell-based sculptor Ray Haydon sees a completely different potential – the ability to make fine art.
After several decades of a successful career working in bronze, wood, stainless steel, aluminium and Corten steel crafting a range of indoor and outdoor works, Haydon’s exploration into the properties of carbon fibre has opened up a whole new area of imagery.
“Imagine a ribbon thrown in the air, the way it loops and curves, that’s the effect I’m trying to achieve,” says Haydon of the light, curvaceous sculptural forms created for a new show at Sanderson Contemporary in Newmarket this September. The show, entitled Cadence, presents a series of wall-mounted sculptures made from a carbon fibre core sheathed in wood veneer. The effect is of a moment of frozen motion captured in incredibly light, flexible forms. The works appear to float on the wall, attached with slim steel fixings, where they throw bold shadows in the passing light of day or under artificial light.
The works are made from up to 7.5m of carbon fibre which is elegantly looped and furled into a finished art work sometimes more than 2m wide. “The beauty of this material is that it holds its form, any other material would be too heavy,” says Haydon.
Haydon came to sculpture after a varied career in jewellery, silversmithing, furniture making and hand-crafting stainless steel fixings for super yachts. Arts writer Warwick Brown has previously called Ray Haydon a restless inventor who honours the old traditions of fine finish and attention to the smallest details. He describes his artworks as, “astounding in their originality, elegant complexity and the perfection of their making.”
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