Title: Night Vision
Dimensions: width: 80cm, height: 61cm, depth: 2cm
Notes: Oil on Canvas
Matthew Hayward was born 14th May 1962 and attended Oxford University where he read History. His art education included a foundation course and the first year of a BA fine art course, at Farnham. He combines his life as an artist with full-time work as a teacher of History and Art History at Leweston School in Dorset. He has exhibited widely.
Hayward’s work, which can be awkward and penetrating, divides people. The support of one critic, David Lee, caused him to be twice shortlisted for the prestigious Natwest Painting Prize, while another influential writer on art, Brian Sewell, dismissed his work claiming he needed to learn how to draw. Like all painters, his work feeds off the past but is also dependent on the flood of images of the now. He is inspired by Titian and Francis Bacon in particular and by their facility in creating grandeur out of sometimes unlikely material. Their ability to suggest a presence or even an entire world through streaks and smears of paint is something he finds very moving. Francis Bacon said, “I believe in deeply ordered chaos,” and although Hayward feels that he has never been able to compete with Bacon’s powerful drive or his capacity for generating an epic multi-layered mess like an archaeological dig, he is nevertheless a messy and “spontaneous” worker, and doesn’t know where the end will be once he has started. Sometimes fragments of photos or memory become large statements, and if all goes well, these shreds of experience carry a worthwhile resonance. Such work can involve trespassing on the suffering of others but not to trespass can feel like turning a blind eye to cruelty and even to condone it.