James Hayes


Jackson’s Painting Prize 2020
101 x 76 cm

“This piece is part of a linked series of paintings responding to the contemporary Irish landscape. They are all inspired by my own personal and phenomenal experience of particular places that form the landscape near my home in the west of Ireland.

Each one simply bears witness to a still and silent human moment or memory – acting as an evocative fragment of elusive meaning, hinting at … ‘unknowables, unsayables, unpronouncables’. With this series I am focused on atmosphere and mood, -trying to embrace and amplify whatever underlying psychological tension is to be found occupying that space between self and surroundings in these particular locations. The figures populating the scenes are often absorbed in something unseen by way of prompting the viewer to construct and continue the suspended narrative. The aim is that perhaps in so doing, the viewer is compelled to explore their own well of personal experience and emotional memory in order to weave the story. Whilst each piece is quite particular and deeply personal to me, I hope there is a sense of intimacy that allows others find something universal in the midst of my particular experience.”