····· artist statement
This artwork directly represents my own backyard as I reflect on the ways we individually and collectively represent ourselves and our culture, and how this contributes to a sense of being at home. Being at home is an action of locating myself within a broader self-understanding of who we are, how we live together and where we belong. In previous paintings I have layered and obscured ideas of landscape as an expression of the physical and emotional vertigo of landscape as identity in Australia. In 2018 my partner and I moved into Guildford where we are building our home. Wedged in the hive of Western Sydney suburbia, Guildford is largely populated by post-war fibro houses of pastel blues and greens, each with distinct visual character: cultural, botanical and religious adornments. It is home to many cultures, many churches, backyards, hills hoists and well-aged gardens. Working largely from home, I have been locating myself through photography, colour, gardening and painting. I am looking, in earnest, to better understand the place where I choose to live.
····· Hayley Megan French
····· artist's bio
····· Hayley Megan French is an early–career artist, living and working in Parramatta, Sydney. French’s work exists in the realm of painting, in the philosophies of abstraction, in the mindscape of landscape; in painting as a site of embodiment and critical thinking played out in actions recorded on the canvas. Actions layered over time; erased and retold. In 2015 she was awarded a PhD (Painting) from Sydney College of the Arts titled See Where it Drifts: The Influence of Aboriginal Art on an Australian Ontology of Painting. This research was informed by her context of working in Australia and a drive to learn more of the colonial and postcolonial histories and stories of this place. French has recently held solo exhibitions at Penrith Regional Gallery, Broken Hill Regional Gallery and Galerie pompom, Sydney. Her work is held in the collection of Artbank Australia and private collections in Australia, New Zealand and the United States. French’s writing has recently been published in Art Collector magazine and Eyeline. In 2017, French co–curated Landing Points,with Dr Lee–Anne Hall at Penrith Regional Gallery. Landing Points brought eleven contemporary artists together to respond to Tracey Moffat’s Up in the Sky in personal and polemical considerations of race, place and identity. French is represented by Galerie pompom, Sydney and Alexandra Lawson Gallery, Toowoomba.