Haroun Hayward (b. 1983, London) received a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Painting from University of Brighton and an MA in Fine Art Practice from Goldsmiths University, London. He lives and works in London.
Hayward's paintings are a celebration of hybridity, harmoniously converging art historical and musical references with distinct modes of making. The paintings honor what informs Hayward's personal and artistic narrative - rave culture, abstract expressionism, post war British landscape painting and his mother's textile collection. Growing up in North London in the 1990s, his formative years were spent skateboarding, listening to music with his older sibling and catching the tail end of the English rave scene.
Hayward explores visually communicating sound, specifically the interconnectedness of repetition in music and pattern in textiles. Repetition and remixing, to borrow from music terminology, are key to the artist's painting process. Hayward likens the variation of forms in his paintings to the practice of sampling in electronic music. Often working in pairs, the 'siblings' or 'companions' create a visual tempo between the two. Painting in this way for the past few years comes after a period of not making work - his return to artmaking is defined by a focus on joy: 'I want these works to make you feel good. To remind you of the beauty and hope of dancing in a field with your friends.' (Hayward, 2021)
The paintings' titles directly honor DJs and producers of acid house, hardcore and Detroit techno from the 80s and 90s alongside post war British painters. These dedications hark back to differing eras, converging histories in one site. For Hayward there is a congenial link between bucolic landscapes and rave culture, characterized by a search for the transcendental.
Working primarily in oil, oil stick and pastel, Hayward has developed a distinctive set of processes for handling each section of his works. Methodical in the making, Hayward starts with a gessoed wooden panel, painting the top half first. He applies a light layer of oil paint, smoothing over with a neutral tone before scratching with a sharp tool, revealing the colour below. He then intuitively punctuates areas with oil pastel. There is in an immediacy and freedom of expression in the abstract section, which Hayward describes as coming from the 'ether' - music made into visual form.
The bottom left part of the painting has two rectangles with cut out chevrons, the unusual fragment nods to the avant-garde movement of vorticism. In this area of painterly flourish, Hayward reimagines works by post war British painters, such as Peter Lanyon, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Edward Burra and Graham Sutherland. In his own versions of quintessential British landscapes, the small scale and great level of detail speaks to his training in Indo-Persian miniature painting.
Emulating embroidery, the bottom right section is a textural patterning, informed by Hayward's mother's expansive textile collection, mainly from South Asia and West Africa. Sculptural relief and intensity of colour is achieved by a painstaking process of remolding an oil stick in order to apply the medium with a knife, creating ridged lines. Incredibly evocative of threads, the oil stick can be mistaken for fabric.
In combining all these methods of making, Hayward explores multiple interplays of visual possibility in one united picture plane. Striving in painting for the ecstasy found in raving, the structure of the works mirrors the repetitive rhythms of 80s and 90s house music. Resisting categorization, Hayward embraces an affinity to his diverse array of his influences to complete his symbiotic vision.
Hayward has had solo exhibitions at Entractes23, Arles (2022), indigo+madder, London (2021) and Wellington Club, London (2020). He has been included in group exhibitions at Modern Art, London; Marlborough Art Gallery, London; Public Gallery, London; French Riviera, London; Galerie Isa, Mumbai, India; Paradise Row Projects, London; AORA, London; Drawing Room, London; Rivington Rooms, London; indigo+madder, London; and The Bigger Picture, curated by Bob and Roberta Smith for Mile End Pavilion, UK in 2017 amongst others. He is the collections of the Gujral Foundation, Kiran Nadar Collection, Arun Nayar Collection among others. His work has been written about in Art Newspaper, frieze magazine, the New York Times and Architectural Digest. Hayward's debut solo exhibition with Hales, Event on the Downs, opens on 24 March 2023 at Hales London.