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About the work

This piece came from a combination of shamanistic costumes I had seen, which hid the wearer in a suit of feathers, and the idea of the hidden parts of an individual's identity.

This can be an intriguing, startling and fascinating realisation when we think we know those closest to us, but in fact more often know little of the vast landscapes of their interior lives.
The childhood reference is pointed up by the beach setting - holidays spent at the seaside where there seemed to be a sense of greater freedom and of possibility - hence the wheeling birds and the figures clothed in feathers - both symbols of freedom and of spirituality.

The pairs of gulls appear to be playing with each other, but the dropped fish reflects the precariousness of human relationships - how many friends and potential loves have we let go of or - through circumstances either within or beyond our control - lost throughout our lives?

Often the oldest relationships have the greatest spiritual depth.

I like to think of this image being shrouded in mystery, familiarity, hope and love.


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

The Boy With The Golden Crab
Painting, 12x15 cm (w/h)
Passing Consciousness
Painting, 37.6x27.5 cm (w/h)
The Poet Drinks
Painting, 59.4x84.1x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
Jacob And The Angel
Work on paper, 26.8x36.1x0.1 cm (w/h/d)
An Uncanny Landscape
Painting, 154x177x5 cm (w/h/d)
Ship Of Fools
Painting, 22x16 cm (w/h)
Hugging The Blackthorn
Painting, 7.7x12.7 cm (w/h)
Man With A Ball Of Soil
Work on paper, 25x30x3 cm (w/h/d)
Soldier Smoking
Painting, 29x32x3 cm (w/h/d)
Painting, 26.8x35.5x0.1 cm (w/h/d)