Interview with artist Hayley West discussing how family and heritage informs her work.
Videography by Liam Benson.
Residency: 01.11.2010 - 31.01.2011
Hayley West (b. Melbourne, 1971) graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Sculpture) from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University.
West’s art practice is cross-disciplinary: primarily performative with sculpture, installation and photography as complementary means of expression. Research focuses on the private/public divide, communication breakdown, journeys through un/determined routes and the exploration and exposition of memory. As a newly orphaned adult, the process of grief, mourning and what remains (the vestigial) has become a significant inquiry.
Her residencies include: Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, France (Art Gallery New South Wales Moya Dyring studio); Lost Generation Space, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and the Hill End Artist in Residence Program, New South Wales.
Recent exhibitions include: The Space in Between Book Project, Bendigo Regional Art Gallery (2008); Bangun – Abandon Project, Lost Generation Space, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2008); immemorial, Roommate & iCAN, Yogyakarta, Indonesia (2009); The Black Show, c3 Contemporary Artspace, Melbourne (2009); Diversion, Museum of Brisbane public art commission, Brisbane (2010); After the Gold Rush, Grant Pirrie Gallery, Sydney (2010) and Art of the Nomad, CHAN Contemporary Art Space, Darwin (2012).
West comments on her London residency:
Living and working in Bow, London for three months over the winter was one of the most reflective and challenging residencies I have participated in. Accompanied by my 8–10 month old baby meant that I was home-based for the majority of the time, which actually made art making quite fruitful. Being able to establish a daily routine for just the two of us, away from home duties and family life, meant I was forced to focus on my work.
In November I was invited by Jemima Brown from the group ‘Enemies of Good Art’ to be part of a discussion on radio examining the art of travelling and working with children as part of a residency. It was refreshing to be part of this discussion that I feel is not really debated so openly in Australia.
During my residency I was also able to visit my father’s family home (Norwood) and my mother’s family home (Essex). The photographic records I collated will be enormously beneficial for future works. Both my parents died some time ago, so being able to spend time with one of my aunties was profoundly rewarding.