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About the work

This piece came about as a result of musing on the subject of birth - both physical and symbolic or spiritual birth. As a veterinarian I used to attend calvings where a cow was unable to give birth without some veterinary assistance and this primal event always filled me with awe and a profound sense of connection with life. In this piece I have tried to recreate this primitive sense of joy and expectation in the waiting children, ready to catch the newborn as it comes into the world. The newborn, however, emerges as if from hiding and scrutinises the world through one piercing blue eye. I view this image as one of mixed celebration - the expectant children, naked and with outstretched arms, bear the skin lesions of eczema - evidence of the stresses they are already experiencing outside the protective and nurturing environment of the womb. They know that once you are outside, you can never go back. The scene, though mixed with pathos, is one of joy.


PublisherMichael Hayter
FramedNot included
Certificate of authenticityIncluded

About the artist

I'm primarily a figurative painter of the human condition, taken from the perspective of personal experience. Although I originally trained to be a veterinarian, I have always drawn and painted and now balance my life between these two disciplines. My work really started when, having suffered for many years with depression , I began to create from this dark space and found a rich seam of both imagery and meaning there – with all the moral and existential difficulties it presents. My childhood is a powerful influence and a rich source of material. This has led to a flowering of creativity that touches on the profound, and often religious or spiritual experiences of being human. I went to art school in London in the '90s and now have a studio at Spike Island Artspace, a world-renowned centre for contemporary art, situated in Bristol, UK Having worked in a variety of media, I'm now predominantly focuses on painting and drawing but also recently branched out into sculpture and animation. I have exhibited in London, Bristol, Bath, Cambridge, Nottingham, Bordeaux, France (2015) and Maastricht, Netherlands (2016). I have collaborated with French artist Olivier Specio on the project At Last We Fly (2015). My work is features in private collections in the UK, France, Belgium, Holland and the US.

Other work of Michael Hayter

Family Portrait III - The Savannah Years
Work on paper, 55x38 cm (w/h)
Art And Alcohol Are The Only Sane Responses To Life
Illustration, 30x21 cm (w/h)
You Are A Small Flame In The Darkness
Painting, 27x32x3 cm (w/h/d)
Old Man Opening A Can
Work on paper, 41x56x3 cm (w/h/d)
Childhood Friends
Painting, 26.7x37.8 cm (w/h)
Painting, 38x28 cm (w/h)
Man With A Ball Of Soil
Work on paper, 25x30x3 cm (w/h/d)
"The Sea! The Sea!"
Painting, 7x11x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
The Spirit Of Self-Reflection
Painting, 36.5x27.5 cm (w/h)
Painting, 26.8x35.5x0.1 cm (w/h/d)