Connected – Solo Exhibition By Tracey Hayden

Solo Exhibition By Tracey Hayden

23rd to 27th November
Preview night – Wednesday 23rd November


An Introduction:

We would like to welcome you to our newest solo show, ‘Connected’ by Tracey Hayden, an exhibition that draws on the most complex of themes with the simplest of tools.

Built over four years, this body of work celebrates, challenges and experiments with the 9B Graphite Pencil, creating 3D wall art, sculptures and mixed media works. For the exhibition, this humble instrument has been set against stainless steel, layered paper, wire, and veneered wood, inviting the viewer to explore the depth, texture, and even colour, that can be seen in the most primary tool for art.

Get to know the artist:

  1. What inspired the ‘Connected’ series? 

Three pieces of work make up the “Connected Series” these being – Connected, Entwines and Complete. They are 3D Wall Art Pieces using graphite pencil on veneer wood and rubbed with a soft cloth which gives a metallic feel to each one.

The inspiration for these pieces comes from the knowledge that I was adopted as a three week old baby. I have suffered from depression most of my life, however it is now under control, and I do put this down to being adopted. My ‘Connected’ Series reflects the highs and lows that depression gives you which is reflected in the woven technique used with the veneers.

2. How has this body of work evolved over the past four years?

The work 4 years ago began with pencil on a smaller flat paper surface. Gradually I played around with pencil on different paper textures and exploring my understanding and what feelings I could create using a simple 9B graphite pencil. The work evolved by adding depth to the textures by layering paper strips one on top of the other.

Becoming more confident as an artist and by experimenting with the use of veneer, wires and wood, my work has also grown in confidence and size. This now shows in the fact that from 3D Wall Art Pieces I am now beginning to develop my work as sculptures.

3.  Why is pencil your chosen medium?

Pencil has always been important to me – I’ve used it from the very beginning of my art career. At school, throughout my foundation course, my degree in illustration, working as a commercial illustrator and even in graphic design – pencil has always been there. I just feel so connected to it – like its an extension of my hand – a paintbrush just seems to be a tool that “gets in the way” and slows down process and love of creating pieces.

4. How do you create your work and has this method changed over the last 4 years?

My work always begins with many, many sketches taken from an initial idea. It’s strange but I just “see” the ideas in my head, they even appear sometimes in my dreams and I’ll wake up and just have to jot or sketch the idea down. I also take many photographs and ideas also form the these – especially now  – living a lot of the year in Devon, the inspiration of the countryside is now beginning to influence my work

5. What is your intention with the art you create? Do you think it’s important to have one?

I’m so happy to have had the last 4 years to really spend the time exploring what I can achieve with a 9B graphite pencil. The work I produce is definitely an art therapy for me  – I lose myself in my studio for hours at a time – I’m at one of my happiest moments when I’m creating my pieces

6.  Do you think viewers need to understand your work?

Obviously my work means something to me. It not only relates to my connection with depression but I think people can subconsciously judge you by your appearance or even the way you speak – but my layering represents my hidden depths. I don’t necessarily think its too important for me to describe my work because I’m very happy for people to like it just because they do without even knowing why – sometimes people see things in my work that means a lot to them and who am I to say otherwise?

7. How do you see colour in your work?

Even though my work is predominately created from pencil I do see colour in it. Colours are reflected from borrowed surfaces which bounce off my work – especially the veneered pieces. To me the palette I have chosen has many colours within it. I could introduce colours – maybe coloured wires – blues, yellows, greens etc but I don’t feel my work would benefit from these choices. I simply prefer the light greys through to the heavy darks of a simple pencil.


Tracey’s exhibition opens for private viewing at 6pm on the 23rd November, continuing until the 27th.