A few more photo sessions, scores of long days and nights painting, and gallons of coffee have gone into Hayden’s preparation for his upcoming solo show at La Petite Mort Gallery in Ottawa. Owner/curator Guy Bérubé says that Hayden’s “work points to a greater statement: that life is a progression of change and deterioration, vagaries and uncertainty”.
Its a world that Hayden navigates with humour and creative freedom. His images shout to us with energy and a playful joy - a chaos of detail masterfully held together by a lively tension and complex balance.
We’re with photographer Bruno Crescia taking photographs in his studio of some of Hayden’s paintings. Bruno’s career as a successful commercial photographer has grown alongside his personal artwork - a thirty-year record of portraits of the community he grew up in - Toronto’s Little Italy.
To record the paintings Bruno is using a medium format Mamiya RZ camera with a Phase One digital back. The shots are being saved directly from the camera to a hard drive. Accurate colour and great sharpness make the images amazingly life-like. I’ll be re-formatting and importing these files when I edit the video.
Hayden and I are here at Rhythm Division with musician/composer Kevan Staples (Rough Trade) for an improv session of music, drawing and videotaping. We’re all in Kevan’s suite each doing our own thing to see what happens…
Music for the film inspired by Hayden’s drawings is flowing out of Kevan. Hayden’s almost through his second large drawing since we arrived and I’m shooting video and stills of the jam.
Watching Hayden work on a large mixed-media painting in his studio, I’m shooting video as we talk about the process of how he got to this point with his work. The small drawings have made a big impact, allowing him the freedom to create random compositions different from his earlier work. Now he begins to translate that experience onto canvas…
friday, 4/11/11 - SPEAKEASY TATTOO
Hayden, Lizzie Renaud, Wilma and I have come together to open the Speakeasy Tattoo shop for business. Keeping the place spotlessly clean is a daily ritual and today it falls to Hayden to wash the floors before he gets us coffees at Sam James Coffee Bar next door. Co-owner and tattoo artist Lizzie is busy drawing original artwork for a commission. Hayden grabs a coffee, then sits down to work on a drawing which I’m recording on my iPad. The new drawings are part of a series that he’s been doing for the past year. Fast, small and portable, he does them on paper and today, for the first time, electronically. He works on them at the front desk while he answers the phone and takes bookings for the shop. They’re a kind of streaming drawing - partly images forming from conversations or sounds that filter through the events of the day.