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About the work

A man lies in a field, dishevelled, and holding a bottle of beer or cider in his hand. His eyes are closed and he is smiling. He appears to be drunk or dreaming - or both. The image of drunk abandon came to me at a time of great social and personal stress. It is a very human thing, in times of stress, to turn to drink as a pacifier, or to help one to forget one's situation. It is a method as old as humanity itself. In this picture I felt a kinship with the scenes of drunken debauch in the paintings of Pieter Brueghel the Elder. In Brueghel's paintings there is often reference to man in nature - drunken scenes at harvest-time, and the like. Likewise, in my drawing the man could be a farm labourer, lying in the grass or wheat of the fields in which he has worked that day. On the other hand he could be a drunken vagrant who has fallen by the wayside. However, beyond alcohol, I have found that both the making of art and the exposure to it are powerful antidotes, comforters and aids to making sense of the chaos and occasional incomprehensibility of life. Art and alcohol as the saviours of humankind!


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

Ship Of Fools
Painting, 22x16 cm (w/h)
An Uncanny Landscape
Painting, 154x177x5 cm (w/h/d)
The Boy With The Golden Crab
Painting, 12x15 cm (w/h)
Painting, 26.8x35.5x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
Old Man, Seated
Painting, 30x30x3 cm (w/h/d)
The Poet Drinks
Painting, 59.4x84.1x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
A New Arrival
Sculpture, 150x174x80 cm (w/h/d)
Passing Consciousness
Painting, 37.6x27.5 cm (w/h)
The Spirit Of Self-Reflection
Painting, 36.5x27.5 cm (w/h)
Hugging The Blackthorn
Painting, 7.7x12.7 cm (w/h)