James Hayes

James Hayes
1 Primary: Red Yellow Blue
Mixed media & wood
20 x 9.5 x 9 cm
Purchased from the Tables/Tableaux, exhibition at The Basement Gallery, Dundalk, 1998

James Hayes was raised and educated in Canada. He holds an Art Diploma from The Central Technical School, Toronto, Canada, and in Ireland a BA from Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, and an MSC in Multimedia Systems from Trinity College Dublin. His work is held in collections across Ireland, England, Switzerland, the US and Canada.

Read an interview with this artist here:

What kind of influences led you towards becoming an artist?
I was raised in a very liberal thinking family, my parents made sure I understood the importance of the arts in society. My father is a playwright, an actor and a teacher, so my entering the arts was not seen as unusual. I was always drawing or making as a child, and a friend in secondary school encouraged me to go to Art College. I have always loved creating and using my imagination, so my career didn’t begin but rather it developed.
I have a love of the Arts and wanted to be my own boss. I have had standard nine-to-five jobs but found that my creativity suffered as a result. I have a continuing impulse to create work and constantly experiment with a variety of media including photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and digital technologies. When I am not actually making artwork I am researching new techniques and approaches that I might use in my artwork, be they traditional craft skills or computer aided design.

What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking of making art as a profession?
If you do not have a constant need to create, don’t do it. If you are not always looking for new ways to create, don’t do it. If you are not thinking about your artistic practice 7 days a week, 365 days a year, don’t do it. An artistic career will be filled with rejection and failures; you must be willing to continue because you love doing it. An artistic career is not about making money, but you must treat it as a business in order to achieve any kind of success, so get some business skills under your belt. An artistic career is not necessarily about success. If you love art but need comfort, get a well-paid job and spend your money enjoying other people’s artistic practice.

How have you kept your artistic profile visible?

I created a website very early when the internet was in its fledgling days, and I have kept it up to date ever since. It requires a major overhaul about every 2 years, which takes a large investment of time and learning new digital skills. I have been a member of the Visual Artists Ireland since 1993 and have my art exhibitions and events promoted in their bulletins. I have a Facebook account, which I use to connect with other artists and to post pictures of new artwork. I have a LinkedIn account and I use it to keep my CV up to date and to connect with past colleagues.

Can you tell us about the work you have in the Louth County Collection?
Primary: Red Yellow Blue, is a romantic piece, as many of the artworks in that exhibition were, and I would say it is strongly related to dream imagery. The chairs are figurative (representing an individual) as well as symbolic, and the small boxes are like small contained universes in the same way that a fragment of a dream can contain a universe of imagery or information. They are snapshots in time. They are a continuation of an earlier body of photographic based artwork, but are a swing 180 degrees from a very dark and Gothic approach to symbolism. These are very colourful and optimistic. As always, my artwork is strongly influenced by events in my life. I love this piece and I am still very happy with how it turned out. I am glad it is part of a permanent collection.

Tell us a little about your current practice
I still exhibit smaller artworks in group shows and as well as permanent public art, I have also created larger temporary land pieces. I am also actively involved with an on-going investigation into Bronze Age casting technology through the group Umha Aois, a collection of artists and archaeologists who organise symposia on a roughly annual basis. I have been an active member and administrator of Umha Aois since 1996.

My current art practice is very much centred on public art commissions. A lot of my public artwork is inspired by my long-time interest in fractal mathematics. I am mainly working in bronze, or laser cut stainless steel, and/or concrete, however I am always investigating new approaches to creating artwork so I do not limit myself to a single media or approach.

Find out more about this artist here: www.lorjames.com